Wednesday, June 15, 2022



I suppose I should have titled this, "Wednesday's Whoops" because when I clicked to open today's Proverbs 31 devotional reading, at the very top was today's Scripture:

“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.” Galatians 6:1a (ESV)

Yeah.  That's going to be a big, fat WHOOPS for me today.

I have not restored anyone in a spirit of gentleness.  In fact, I took transgression from this weekend and ran all over it with my own opinions, cussing, and my own self-righteousness.

To my defense, the weather is HOT (as in dog days hot).  The real temperature is in the 90s, but the heat index is well into the 100s.

We did pretty good.  We made it to Sunday night before anger raised its not-so-pretty head.  I didn't give a complement to a job (well) done, and I asked to have to have a load set aside for a parent loaded into the family trailer.

Those must have been the magical heat buttons because temper tantrums ensued, the load was thrown into the trailer, and I was told I was unbelievable.  Doors slammed; tires sped away; and ensuing communication became brutal, honest, and then retractive (eventually, the next day).  But it was too late.  An otherwise uneventful weekend was destroyed by a 10-min. conversation and brutal words.

But wait God.  You want me to have a SPIRIT OF GENTLENESS?  What?  Did I read and hear you correctly?  

I am terrible with gentleness.  Do we all know me around here?  They make people with the gift of compassion and empathy to offset the people like me.  I come from a line of people that are "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" kind of people - they work hard (maybe multiple jobs); wear their hearts on their sleeves; and often speak unfiltered.  I'm not good at "gentleness."  I'm not good a praising people.  I'm just not.  I mean, I do love my friends and family; I do "watch" them; I do support them; and I am always happy to help them.  I'm just not good at or possess the gift of empathy and I don't think to ask about them.  Again, it's not that I don't care.  It's just not my gift.

And now, you are telling me that when someone in my path is in transgression, I should show gentleness.  This might be more than my character can pull together and accomplish Lord.  Again, do you know me?

Back to the devotional.

After the Scripture quote, the Author wrote:

"What is it about accountability that makes us squirm?

At its core, accountability calls us to who we are meant to be, through truth mixed with grace. Yet our generation’s declaration of personal independence has pushed this away. We resent being challenged on our behavior. But what if that missing element is exactly why we all feel like our relationships don’t run deep?"


So, accountability calls us to be who we are meant to be.  Not being accountable means our relationships won't run deep.

Ouch again.

Then, Jesus took the rod and poked even deeper:

"When we don’t have a village of interconnected, consistent teammates in our lives, we feel invisible, and when we are left alone and unbothered, we become the worst version of ourselves. Whether it’s neighbors, mentors, grandparents or our closest friends, we need people who see us, who call us up and out. Our key verse, Galatians 6:1a, instructs us on how to do this: 'Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.'"

I love being "left alone and unbothered." Um, Jesus?  Do you know me?

"...we need people who SEE US, who calls us UP AND OUT." Wait.  What are you trying to tell me?  I'm the one with transgressions and I was shown gentleness toward me?  I witnessed transgression and I didn't show gentleness?

I don't think I like the timing of you Jesus.  Putting this devotion in my path.  Do you know me?

The Author of today's devotion gave a little list that I am going to share here because I think it's one we should all print out and hang on our refrigerators and share with our little tribe of girlfriends, our families, and our relationship partners:

"Once you’ve identified a wise and trustworthy friend(s), here’s how you intentionally pursue accountability:

  1. Give permission to this person or people to tell you the truth. 
  2. Ask them regularly: What area of my life do I need to grow in? What practices do I need to embrace in order to grow and mature? Will you hold me accountable to this change?
  3. Plan follow-up meetings. Schedule times when you can revisit this conversation.
  4. Ask your friend(s) if you can hold them accountable for anything.
  5. God made us for community! And it’s when we’re in community with others who are committed to keeping us accountable that we become the very best version of ourselves."

I'm going to end today's Wednesday (Whoops) with the Author's prayer because in my own "whoops" from this weekend, I have not recovered that relationship.  I know how to fix most broken things; I don't know how to fix (nor am I very good at fixing) broken people.  I just pray.  And pray.  And pray.  I am broken too.  We all are, and yes, Jesus does know me.  I'll keep asking Him if he knows me, but judging by today's devotional timing, I think it's a sure bet He's keeping close tabs on me:

    "God, thank You for the gift of accountability. Will You help me set aside any pride in my life that is keeping me from living connected like this? Help me find my people who will call me out and call me up to live more like Christ. In Jesus’ Name, Amen."


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