Acts 16:15 NKJV – And when she and her household were baptized, she begged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come to my house and stay.”…
Confession: I like to eat…a lot! While I promote a healthy lifestyle, mostly eating clean and exercising regularly, I also
While I shout “Don’t judge me” in a semi-playful manner, I am also a huge proponent of accountability. If I am not doing something right, please tell me! Who wants to be out here looking crazy? Like a hypocrite? Even in the workplace, organizations are making huge efforts to increase communication and feedback. To set expectations then hold employees accountable. In the Christian community, though, we like to shy away from accountability, even with the expectations having been set by God. The Bible tells us that our lives are not our own, that we should die to self daily, but we want to do things our own way. And we don’t want anyone to say anything about it! Too often we scoff at positive criticism and accuse others of being judgmental. We quote Tupac’s “Only God can judge me” and find scriptures to support why people shouldn’t correct us.
One question though: exactly how are we supposed to become stronger in the Lord when we are not open to feedback and criticism? Were we not commissions to teach and preach? Did Jesus and Paul not spend substantial amounts of time correcting folks who thought they were living right? (I know this is not a popular stance but neither was Jesus ministry.)
In my key verse above, the Paul introduces us to a woman named Lydia, who appeared to be successful but didn’t know the Lord. After hearing a Word from Paul, her whole family was baptized. She was so excited about her new relationship with the Lord, she asked the preachers to judge her, to make sure she was truly a believer!
Wow right? I wish that we would be that excited about being faithful to God! Why are we okay with being outside of God’s will? Why do we not accept feedback from peers and other Christians leaders? Why do we heed more to societal norms than biblical principles? I think I know… because its hard! Because we operate in self. Because our faith and relationship with God is not where it should be.
Let’s change our mindset folks! Let’s be open and at least willing to consider feedback we receive about living Kingdom lives. I am grateful for the people who offer correction out of love and genuine concern. I would much rather be judged by my Christian peers than by God (it’ll be too late then). Let me get my corrections in NOW!
(Disclaimer: This is NOT a green light to start offering up your opinions to people. If you think the correction is necessary for someone, pray for discernment and ask God to provide an opportunity to minister. Remember: the best accountability sometimes is leading by example!)
Until next time…Be excited about growing closer to God. Be open to positive criticism. Be like Lydia!
Peace. Blessing. Love.