“What on earth is that?”
I am gazing at a sticky, snot like stain on my front door window. It’s about 2 inches wide and 3 inches tall. A dead fly is stuck in the corner with a collage of legs and wings from his nearest and dearest friends.
“Wow. You just noticed that. It’s been there forever.” Says the teen.
“Jeez, Mom. I can’t believe you just saw that.” Says the tween.
“It’s been there for years,” says the man. “It ‘s just a sticker that melted to the window.”
“So,” I reiterate, “We have had a snot blob and fly guts stuck to the window for years. You all have seen it and not one of you has bothered to take a scraper and clean it up.”
“Look how long it took you to notice,” my smug man says with a smile on his face.
Is anyone else’s blood pressure a little high?
I proceed to explain the importance of taking care of messes as soon as you see them. Just because no one else seems to notice does not make a difference. You saw it. You handle it.
However, no one is listening. The fact that I ranted this very speech just two hours before might be a reason to take into account. Is it really too much to expect your family to clean up the mess the Diva wonder dog left. 4/5 of my family walked through the war-torn mess of half eaten Q-tips and wash rags yet not one took the initiative to clean it up off of the bathroom floor.
Yet, in the world outside of our homes we tend to turn a blind eye as well.
How many times have you seen a brother or sister walking into a dangerous, broken or messy situation and chosen to turn your head.
How many times have you looked the other way when you see a friend engaged in behavior that can harm their most precious relationships, but you didn’t say a word because it was none of your business.
How many times?
This issue of accountability has resided close to my heart as I think of the many times I chose to turn a blind eye. Our command is to get involved. Especially when the one engaged in sin is a member of the family of believers.
Accountability is something we all need from time to time. Who better to help us than our family of believers who love us enough to say the words we need to hear to turn away from sin, repent and pull back on track with God. Yet, in this business of confrontation, we have some firm rules we need to follow to keep our walk in the clear.
We must confront with a spirit of gentleness. Leave the tar and feathers at home. This is about approaching what is tender and opening the possibility of God’s grace to enter, heal and restore.
This starts as a between me and you conversation. Not me and you after I put you on the prayer list at life group. If this conversation doesn’t work, you are then allowed to recruit help. Again, confidentiality is so important. If you find yourself in this situation, confide in someone who will help and keep the transgression quiet while going back to your brother and sister. If they still turn you away, you go the church.
Can I be honest with you for a second? This scares the stuffing out of me. Go to the church? EEP.
Let’s get back to the role of the church. To be the hands and feet of a loving Christ. My thought is that going to the church means seeking the presence of your pastor, or elders who can approach the sin with appropriate counsel & correction while holding the sinner with love, dignity and respect.
It all comes down to this. We have specific instructions to hold our brothers and sisters accountable. We live a higher standard in Christ. We can’t live dual lives. We’re different. We’re marked by grace. We can’t turn a blind eye because no one else has noticed and you don’t want to get your hands dirty.
I think of something I heard a long time ago. It has always stuck with me. A pastor’s wife was giving her testimony in church and she said, “You wouldn’t let someone run into the path of an oncoming car without trying to stop them.”
Who needs your interception today?
Just think of the lives that could be changed if we made the intentional choice not to turn a blind eye any longer.