The Greatest Impossibility of All – Eternal Life
Exchanging Difficulties for Impossibilities (Part Four)
But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19: 26 ESV)
While this sounds encouraging, the disciples were very disturbed over the whole conversation. The preceding verses contained the discourse between Jesus and the rich young ruler who asked Jesus the question, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” He was ill-prepared for Jesus’ answer. Most of us know the story well. (Matthew 19: 18-23) The rich young man did a good job of justifying himself based on his obedience to the law – keeping the commandments.
The Difficulty: When Jesus gave him the final qualification, the rich young man did not like the terms of the deal sheet (as we might say today)—go sell everything, give the proceeds to the poor, and come follow Me. We are told he walked away grieving because he was very rich. Jesus took this teaching opp to say what has become troubling to many today because of our wealth as individuals and a nation because we are so financially blessed compared to most of the world.
“I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (vs 23-24)
The stunned disciples responded by asking Jesus who could be saved. They must have thought the rich man wanted to know the answer to eternal life and lived a good life, obeying the commandments. Just because he would not give up his possessions and become a follower of Jesus, he would be kept out of Heaven? Really? Not really.
The Impossibility: In the lesson verse today, Jesus gave His disciples the only correct answer to rich man’s question—one asked by millions who want to know how they can live forever – get to Heaven; avoid Hell (if either really exist—get “fire insurance” of a sort).
The rich young man gave the answer many do today. I have been “good” and done “good things”. As Christians, we know our best behavior and works do not qualify us for the Kingdom of God. Jesus said it best, “with man this is impossible.” Simply stated, that means you cannot work your way to Heaven, nor are you good enough to ever get there.
But Jesus also gave the simple answer to everyone who seeks the Truth with a contrite, repentant heart, “with God all things are possible.” That is the great news of the Gospel. When we had no way to God—lost in our sin and without hope, God made THE WAY. It cannot be any more simply stated than the first verse taught to children in Christian churches.
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3: 16 NASB)
God made the ultimate impossibility possible through Christ. The rich man’s issue was his money had become his ‘god’ and stood between him and becoming a follower of Christ. Money is just one of many ‘gods’ that can do that. Are there any in your life doing the same or keeping you from going deeper in your relationship with Him?
What Men Can Learn from the Most Amazing Girl in His-Story
Exchanging Difficulties for Impossibilities (Part Three)
“For nothing will be impossible with God.” (Luke 1: 37 NASB)
The Difficulty: Biblical experts put her age as young as thirteen—no older than sixteen. By our standards today, if age is the discriminator, she was just a girl. But God in His infinite wisdom chose Mary, out of all her gender who came before or would follow, to be the earthly mother to bring His Son into the world. Wow! is about all that comes to mind.
This divine decision brought huge, possibly horrific, consequences. She was unmarried, although engaged to Joseph. She was a virgin and planned to remain that way until she and Joseph were married. If what this angel said came true, she would face embarrassment, ridicule, and, possibly, death.
The Impossibility: Who would believe such a ridiculous story from Mary? “An angel showed up, told me God was going to get me pregnant, and I will give birth to the long-awaited Messiah.” Let’s review this: (1) talking angel from God, (2) pregnant virgin, (3) and that with the Son of God-Messiah. Who among us would believe such a story?
“And Mary said, “Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38 NASB)
Regardless of her physical age, here we are introduced to a very godly, young woman. No wonder she “found favor with the Lord.” (v. 30) Mary’s praise and prayer (known as the Magnificat vs 46-55) speak to her spiritual maturity as she quotes scriptures and accepts this incredibly difficult, yet awesome, assignment and responsibility. No equivocating or fear. Just incredible faith that her God was real and would do what He promised. Again, I say, Wow!
Our Response: What then do men of God learn from such a woman of God? Let me suggest (at least) three things. No matter how difficult our circumstances or God’s assignment may be today, our response must be that of Mary.
- Surrender our will to God’s will—His sovereignty.
- Submit our lives as “living sacrifices” as the Apostle Paul urged, and Mary demonstrated.
- Serve the Lord with gladness as David exclaimed and as Mary lived.
So easily said. So hard to live. Let us die trying.
LORD, thank You for incredible difficulties that grace our lives—particularly those that come at the worst times and are most unwelcome. Give us Mary’s strength and courage to walk in faith knowing, as she discovered nine months later, there really is “nothing impossible with God.” Amen.
Even those of us who do little cooking are familiar with the acrostic, EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil. It has great use in healthy cooking and possesses proven health benefits related to cholesterol and CV disease.
The use of olive oil for anointing purposes throughout biblical history is well-documented. (Anointing typically means pouring over someone’s head.) We first see this used on Aaron (the brother of Moses and first high priest (Exodus 30). David, the shepherd boy who became King, used this well-known phrase in his most eloquent psalm. “Thou anointest my head with oil.” (Psalm 23: 5). I imagine its greatest use was anointing Jesus’ body for burial (olive oil and spices).
There is another reference to the use of oil for anointing that grabs my attention every time I read two passages of Scripture where we find it—the oil of gladness. The first use is found in a beautiful, messianic psalm.
you have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions; (Psalm 45: 7 ESV)
The writer of the book of Hebrews began by diving immediately into the fact that Jesus is God’s answer for mankind. He quoted these verses from Psalm 45 in Hebrews 1: 8-9. Jesus was anointed with the oil of gladness.
The second use occurs in Isaiah 61: 1-3. This chapter also contains promises of God, reassuring the Israelites He would deliver them from their sufferings and captivity in the future. These verses also contain great messianic prophecy. Jesus read parts of this passage when He first taught in the synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth. (He did not quote verse 3.)
“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me because the LORD has anointed me, to bring good news to the afflicted; He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to captives, and freedom to prisoners…to grant those who mourn in Zion, giving them a garland instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning,”
Gladness. Perhaps when I give you my definition of that word, you will understand and even share, my conviction concerning this powerful anointing. Webster may disagree, but the Holy Spirit has impressed upon mine that…
“gladness is the absence of whining and the presence of joy”.
I can be a real whiner sometimes. My wife has even asked (sarcastically) if I want some cheese with my “whine”! This year I am committed to experiencing more of the joy of the Lord, so His oil of gladness can pour over me and, just maybe, touch those with whom I come in contact.
The devotions this week featured key words that are, for many, hard to swallow and even harder to digest:
♦ Surrender ♦ Slavery ♦ Failure ♦ War
Each was presented in a biblical context to give us hope that:
(1) Victory results when we surrender our wills to that of the Lord.
(2) Freedom found only in Christ breaks the chains of slavery to sin.
(3) Deep, abiding faith is often born out of abject failures.
(4) Peace that passes all understanding can be ours even in the midst of spiritual warfare.
Today our focus is this hope to which I referred above. Most people reach a point in life when we come to the realization that human hope is little more than wishful thinking. It has no basis in reality or foundation upon which we may build, much less cling to, such hope.
As discouraging as that is for most, in Christ we have certain hope. That may, again, seem somewhat of an oxymoron, but if you examine the Scriptures, it will become clear and make perfect sense. Here are a just a couple of verses to help encourage your heart when circumstances overwhelm, people disappoint, or it seems Satan has a special posse whose assignment is to attack you on every front.
♦ Hope in and through the written Word of God (Bible) – “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” (Romans 15:4 NIV)
♦ Hope that is alive because Christ died and rose again just as He promised. – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,” (1 Peter 1: 3 NASB)
“Now may the God of all hope fill you with joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15: 13 NASB),
Gigi and I attended the Christmas Eve service this morning, had lunch, and checked our list (one more time) to make sure I did not need to join the hoards of last-minute shoppers. Thankful I did not, my mind turned to hear what the Holy Spirit would breathe into mine regarding “just another Christmas Eve”. All I knew was I really wanted to share a brief word of encouragement on this joyous eve of expectancy – for little children who cannot wait to see what Santa brings and Christians who manage to clear our heads of all the “Christmas clutter” and remember why we do this in the first place.
Expectancy. When I saw this picture of Mary kneeling beside the manger and holding her soon-to-be-born baby in her arms, as only an expectant mom can do, I knew this was the image that would best accompany these words of reminder to all who will celebrate the birth of Christ our Savior tomorrow.
Twas the night before Christmas, and there sat Mary (with Joseph not far away). We know, nine months earlier, the angel Gabriel appeared to her and shared the most amazing words ever. She was about to become pregnant and carry in her womb the Son of God Who would become the Savior of the World. You may also recall Joseph was told that “his son” would “save His people from their sins”. Both wondered what God was thinking?
Mary’s life was further disrupted and pregnancy made even more uncomfortable – if not dangerous – when Joseph told her they had to journey to Bethlehem for a census since he was of the line of David that originated in this small town outside Jerusalem.
As an expectant dad, I know from watching Gigi endure four full-term pregnancies what those last few weeks can be like for a woman. While she could not wait for the baby to be born, there was a lot of discomfort that leads up to the most uncomfortable part of all – labor and delivery.
We have no idea what Mary and Joseph thought after those “God invasions” into their lives, as no thoughts or words are shared. What we see are incredible demonstrations of faith and obedience that cause me to shrink back in amazement. Did Mary really think, as this picture presents, she would be giving birth to the Son of God in a nasty stable surrounded by animals and the fragrant aroma of ox poop?
Yet we see her kneeling faithfully beside a feed trough (where animals slobbered all over it as they ate) rubbing and comforting her son in her womb, awaiting His arrival. Surely she must have wondered if this was really what God intended or was it just because the inn was full when they arrived.
No sterile surroundings of a birthing room. No nurses or mid-wives standing by waiting to help. Just poor old Joseph, perhaps just as clueless as the rest of us men who stood around awaiting the birth of our first child. I am sure he did what he could, perhaps laid out “fresh” hay and kept animals at bay while they waited for the arrival of the King Who would be their’s to raise.
One final “image of expectancy”. It could not be shown here because it exists only in the hearts and minds of Christ-lovers who pause long enough to consider the expectancy in Heaven as all angels, cherubim, seraphim, and every living creatures await the incarnation of the One they know already as King of Kings and Lord of all. Surely they were amazed that God would condescend to sinful, created beings such as humans to save and redeem us from our deliberate decisions of defiance and disobedience.
As I wrap this up, there are about six hours left before the day calendar gets flipped and “just another Christmas day” arrives. I hope you receive this message in time to enjoy, with child-like excitement and expectancy, the imminent arrival of our Savior.
Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: when His mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit. And Joseph her husband, being a righteous man and not wanting to disgrace her, planned to send her away secretly. But when he had considered this, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife; for the Child who has been conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.“She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet: “BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL,” which translated means, “GOD WITH US.” (Matthew 1: 18-23 NASB)
Expectantly waiting with you,
Monday past, more than 250 men including many sons, gathered at the Nashville Rescue Mission for a Christmas celebration. This event was born out an idea the Holy Spirit put on my heart many years ago as I was driving home one night after teaching the men in the life recovery programs there. For more than a dozen years now, I have invited generous men from churches and the burbs around metro Nashville to come and bring gifts for these men to get acquainted and hear their stories.
In addition to some great music, I teach a short message in which I always share this thought with the desperate men from the burbs.
We are only one or two bad decisions from bunking with these men at the mission!
Since I always brought my sons when they could attend, I started inviting other men to do the same. Based on the testimonies of the sons and dads, that has turned into quite a blessing and memory for them as well. Perhaps the most memorable part is what you see in the picture in the featured image above. Each year after the sons pass out the new study Bibles to the men in the programs, I ask those men to come up, encircle the sons, and pray over them – that they will grow up strong in the Lord and make good life choices. It is a powerful time.
The short video below was graciously shared by my friend and NRM CEO, Glenn Cranfield to help support our menistry, Desperate Men. I hope you will listen and please give as generously as you are led to help sustain and expand this work.
Desperate Men exists to encourage and equip men from all walks of life to help build an army of biblical Christian men for such a time as this. I do that directly through my writing and teaching, our website and social media, and partnering with other ministries and churches as you can see from this post.
The Scarlet Letter Revisited – Adultery in the Christian Church
Many of us read this Nathaniel Hawthorne classic for English class somewhere in our educational journey. Hester Prynne was a young Puritan woman whose husband had apparently been lost at sea some years before the story began. We soon learn Hester had a child, born of an affair with a man whose name she refused to reveal. The man chose not to come forward.
Giving your memory the benefit of the doubt, you may recall the man who was the adulterer and father of the child was the local pastor, Dimmesdale. Cowardice and fear kept this ‘man of God’ from stepping up and confessing his sin. That had two consequences—one sad, the other fatal.
Sadly, the reverend’s unrepentance kept Hester bearing the shame alone. She was forced to wear the scarlet letter ‘A’ on her chest at all times. It would be a sign of her sin – Adultery – to all who encountered her from that point forward. Her daughter saw it every time she saw her mother. (Hard to imagine this because none of us want to be reminded of our sin.)
The second, and more dire consequence, was that of Reverend Dimmesdale. Concealment of his sin, and the shame it brought to someone else, ate him alive from the inside out. That kind of thing should sound familiar to those who know the Bible and recall the travails of King David. I shared this verse in the lesson on Secret Sins. He described the consequences as follows:
“When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long.” (Psalm 32: 3 NASB)
As a closing footnote to the story, when the reverend finally did muster the strength to confess, he mounted a scaffold, exposed his chest on which he had burned into his flesh the letter ‘A’, and then dropped dead. Years of bearing the unconfessed guilt and shame of his adultery, and the pain it caused others, apparently did as David said it would.
Adultery in the Post-Modern World
As a society, we have moved from the era of biblical times where women and men were put to death when caught in the act of adultery, to the Puritan age when they were forced to wear the letter ‘A’, to the present politically correct, non-judgmental age in which we do not even use the word. It might offend someone. And the practice itself is so widespread, it really isn’t that big a deal to (too) many.
Adultery is often dismissed or laughed about in our bedeviled culture.
I shared previously the devastating statistics of Christian men and pastors and their participation in pornography. Here are equally disturbing ones on Christians and adultery. Quoting from a well-known Christian research group study,
“nearly a third (30%) of the self-proclaimed born-again Christians admitted to having an extramarital sexual affair while they were married.”
To put this in biblical perspective and call out Christians and the church on the subject, consider three difficult, very specific, teachings spoken directly from the mouths of God and Jesus.
Adultery as sexual sin—unfaithfulness in marriage. God spoke strongly and directly to this issue with the Israelites in the seventh of the Ten Commandments.
“You shall not commit adultery.” (Exodus 20: 14 ESV)
The fact that this sin was punishable by death suggests God was very serious. Today our culture prefers the phrase “having an affair” because it is less offensive and almost commonplace in too many areas. Any sin grieves the heart of God, but adultery is obviously high on the list for reasons I am about to explain that go beyond the covenant vows of a man and woman when they marry. Before we go there, consider this.
We know, just by looking around, that we live in the most sensual, sexual age in the history of man. But the temptations of the flesh have plagued men since our earliest days. We are too easily tempted to lust after another man’s wife or a woman who is not ours. There is no stronger natural inclination in the carnal remnant of the heart of even Christian men.
So we are instructed to “resist the devil and he will flee from us.” (James 4: 7) If we resist, God promised to help us escape (1 Corinthians 10:13). Perhaps the best example is when Joseph ran from Potiphar’s wife so fast he left his coat behind in her hand. (Genesis 39)
I offer two solutions. (1) Direct more attention developing the last stated fruit of the Spirit—self-control (Galatians 5: 23). Easier said than done I know, but it may be the only hope for some men. If we are honest, most of us need more self-control in these areas. Spirit-filled Christians who walk in the Spirit are given His power to resist and exercise self-control. (Galatians 5: 16) We have no chance to make it under our own power—read those stats again.
(2) Personal accountability which I laid out in the last lesson. I refer you to that, and the link is provided. (Accountability)
Adultery as God viewed and defined it—the sin of a nation. In Scripture, we move from personal adultery to that of an entire nation. God frequently used a phrase throughout the Old Testament to call out Israel. From Numbers, early in their rebirth as a people, to Jeremiah and Ezekiel, after the fall of the northern kingdom and during the final collapse of Judah, God accused His people of “playing the harlot”- being an adulterous people.
In fact, God said this was the final reason He had enough of their adulteries and allowed both kingdoms to be overrun—even allowed the temple to be destroyed. Serious punishment from an angry God Who demanded only faithfulness to Himself.
“And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also. (Jeremiah 3: 8)
“These things will be done to you because you have played the harlot with the nations, because you have defiled yourself with their idols.” (Ezekiel 23: 30)
(Please note more than 2,500 years passed before Israel became a nation again.)
Many ask if this could be the fate of the United States? The better question is could it be the fate of the Christian church of the US? I want to call to your attention that God did not destroy the nations of Israel because of the sins of pagan enemies. He allowed them to be destroyed because of their sins of “playing the harlot”.
Speaking to Christians and the church, we know that God is love and all the amazing good that comes with it—grace, mercy, and more. We thank and praise Him for that. But as I illustrated, God becomes an angry Father when His children say they love and obey Him, yet commit adultery with every “other god” imaginable. That violates the first commandment—no other gods before Me. Three takeaways from His strong words:
- God demands holiness not harlotry.
- God extends forgiveness to His children who are truly repentant of their sins—not just sorry they got caught.
- Spiritual adultery is putting any person or thing before your relationship with the Lord God. In the OT, God called that “playing the harlot”. He still does.
Adultery as Jesus redefined it. Finally, we get to sweet Jesus. This has been a hard lesson. Surely there are some soft, sweet words from our Savior that comfort and console in this area. As He often did, Jesus came along and spoke words that blew everything up and indicted all of us men. The Sermon on the Mount was full of such teachings.
Affairs of the Heart. Once again in this amazing series, Jesus appears to abruptly change course. The subject became adultery. These were His only words,
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” (Matthew 5: 27-28 ESV)
As men, we cry out, “C’mon Jesus, give us a break! We are all guilty of that at times.” If He was standing among us in a men’s group, He might ask questions like these, as He liked to do when confronting people.
“What did Moses say was the penalty under the law for those caught in adultery?” (Death)
“What happened to Israel for her ongoing adulterous affairs with “other gods”?” (Destruction)
“What did I offer the woman brought to me caught in the act of adultery?” (Mercy)
My dear brothers, here is the good news on which we close this lesson on these very hard teachings of God and Jesus. Though we are known adulterers on each front we discussed, God offers us mercy with same instructions He gave the woman.
“Go and sin no more.”
Let our first response be to confess our sin—personally and as His church. Then let us return to loving the Lord God first and best—lay aside all “other gods” and worship Him alone. Only that will assuage our loving Father’s anger and restore us, and His church, to our amazing place in His kingdom. What are we waiting for?
A Powerful Weapon for Demolishing Strongholds
“Secret Sins” Series (Part Three)
A Sad Story. Hard to believe it has been twenty-plus years since that awkwardly, sad time. Our accountability group was composed of a few men from church—friends and golfing buddies. One was an associate pastor—a terrific man with a great family. At that point in the life of our group, I seem to recall we were not drilling down very deeply into our personal lives.
The first troubling key was our pastor friend began to join us less frequently. When we did see him, his countenance was not the same. He looked troubled in his spirit. Sadly, as happens all too often among church men, including pastors, his affair was uncovered and the “hell” began—perhaps more so for his sweet family. Even more tragic is that was the second moral failure of a staff pastor at our church within a few years. Where was the accountability of and from the church leadership?
Accountability is perhaps the most overused/under-applied word in “Christian-speak”.
Most men avoid biblical accountability as much as eating liver! Interesting that we yield to being held accountable at work for attitudes and actions, but not spiritually for being the men God expects based on His Word and the many examples of Christ.
The Accountability Caveat. I have learned over many years of doing (or attempting) life with men in AGs, it is impossible to hold men accountable who really do not want to go there. Most of us are pretty good at keeping things buried—to a point. Lesson learned:
Men must want accountability and surrender to the process—both of which create stumbling blocks for many churched men, even for some who are solid Christians.
The Accountability Mandate. I do not recall a specific point in my walk with the Lord when the Holy Spirit burned this desperate need in my spirit, but I am so thankful He did. Perhaps it was early on when I was being discipled by an older Christian man. While that really does not matter, what does is being true to this passionate concern for the spiritual health and well-being of men who say they belong to Christ.
On several occasions when writing or teaching on this subject, I searched the Scripture for specific use of the word(s) accountability or accountable in the present context—man to man. I found none. Does that mean we consider this an extra-biblical concept and excuse for not engaging? Hardly.
Following are three of many verses that point to the need for men to engage—holding one another accountable to biblical living and representing well our Savior.
1. Most men know this verse:
“Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27: 17 NASB)
Having had a strong background in metallurgy and metal working early in my career, I like to add when “iron sharpens iron” friction generates heat, sharp edges are honed, and sparks often fly. It was never intended as an easy process. As with metal, sometimes you have to hammer things out.
2. These verses provide some of Solomon’s wisest words of advice for men. I am particularly fond of the last line because accountability groups of three men make great sense and can work well.
“Two are better than one…For if either of them falls, the one will lift up his companion. But woe to the one who falls when there is not another to lift him up…if two lie down together they keep warm, but how can one be warm alone? And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A cord of three strands is not quickly torn apart. (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-12 NASB)
3. On numerous occasions in Scripture, Jesus and the Apostle Paul tell us we will give an account for our actions on the day of judgement. Here is one example from Jesus (Matthew 12: 46 ESV):
“I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak.”
This side of Heaven, why not get in the habit of being accountable to one another so we help each other become “sharper” images of Jesus—encouraging, exhorting, and speaking hard truth when necessary?
Let’s close this lesson and ‘Secret Sins’ series offering three reasons men avoid accountability and ask three questions that just might save your life, marriage, relationship with kids, and job.
Three reasons men avoid accountability:
- Too many men do not want to admit we have issues—especially “those” issues. Prideful men always think they can work themselves out of any situation or problem. Just ask the men in my Desperate Men small groups at the mission and prison! “Pride goes before a fall.”
- While fear of failure may top the list of men’s fears, this one comes in second: fear of getting caught AND suffering the consequences. We prefer to hide our secret sins from men, hoping God is not paying attention or we slipped something past Him. Little boys and immature young men do that—not men of God.
- Perhaps the opposite of pride or a subset, shame keeps men from owning and confessing sin. We are embarrassed to admit we struggle with things “real” Christian men should not. The truth is all men of God in the Bible also did. The Holy Spirit wrote their stories so we could learn from them.
Three questions that could save your life, marriage, relationship with your kids, and your job.
1. Who is holding you accountable? If the answer is “no one”, keep reading, but you might want to insert a cup in your boxer briefs before you do. This is serious business. Jesus did not mince words so neither will I in such an area of great need for men of His church. What is your excuse (and do not suggest time)? Pick one or more of the reasons above, and tell God you are doing fine on your own and working through your issues. You do not need other men in the process who may have more issues than you. Bad answer. Trust me, you should not walk alone.
2. What areas of your life are you allowing yourself to be held accountable? It is easy to allow ourselves to be held accountable for things we do not do or areas in which we do not struggle. Man up and allow the Holy Spirit to bring to mind those things that you do struggle with and open those doors. Here are three blank spaces for you to write down just a few to start the process.
_____________________ ________________________ _________________________
3. Are you willing to commit to the process? Be mindful that accountability groups can default to bull sessions and your own sports talk shows. Early in the process, there is nothing wrong with that. It takes time to build trust and convince other men you love them in the Lord—no matter what. But do not stop there.
As I said before, I have been in an AG with a pastor steeped in adultery and known several others who had similar issues. Drill down even if you occasionally hit rock. Remember it is a process, and we are not professional counselors, so these are not counseling sessions. The sooner you start, the sooner you will being to find peace in the process, more joy in your journey, and help another brother as well!
Committed to the Holy Spirit’s sharpening process—even when friction increases the heat or sparks fly,
Here are the links to the first two parts of this series. I hope you read and print all of them and pass along to men in your accountability group. And if you do not have one, start one!
Your desperate brother in Christ,