Saturday, September 13, 2008

Look what I Found... A Word of Caution...

I was cleaning up my office today (I can only take so much clutter before it drives me nuts) and I came across a great little bit of writing by Chuck Swindoll I had tucked away in a file. It's a blog post that gives some great insight on how a pastor can prevent the accountability breakdown. This brief little article gave me pause as I reflected on how a number of us around the office were talking about yet another well known pastor who fell into an inappropriate relationship with a woman other than his wife recently. Here are a few of the key thoughts that jumped off the page at me:

1) Although we as pastors are surrounded by scores of people, we know the feelings of isolation, loneliness and solitude very well. If we are not careful we can become closed off from the world and leave ourselves very vulnerable to an accountability breakdown.

2) I can avoid accountability breakdown by being vulnerable with other men of integrity.

3) I need to be committed to gut-level honesty as self betrayal is a dangerous path to try and walk.

4) Am I deliberately engaging myself with those who will keep me honest as the backlash of accountability breakdown is huge.

5) I need to regularly answer some of these questions as noted by Swindoll:

"Have I been with a woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising?"

"Have any of my financial dealings lacked integrity?"

"Have I exposed myself to any sexual explicit or other forms of inappropriate sexual material that leads to improper thoughts?"

"Have I spent adequate time in the Word and prayer?"

"Have I invested sufficient priority time to my family?"

"Have I fulfilled the mandates of my pastoral role?"

"Have I just lied about any of these?"

These are not easy things we as guys like to think about, but as Swindoll put it "the pain of real accountability is nothing compared to the pain from a lack of integrity and an accountability breakdown."

I'm thankful that God has helped my guard my heart thus far and for the genuine accountability I have enjoyed with other guys along the way. GREAT REMINDER CHUCK!

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