Pastor David Thomas' - Thinking Aloud
I am a grandpa.
Grandpas love to say "yes". We love to say, "I love you" or "You make me very proud." We tend to avoid saying, "No" or "What you just did was wrong". We love indulging and avoid denying. We justify our silence on misbehavior by saying "discipline is the province of parents."
Sometimes we confuse love with permissiveness.
I even do this as a pastor. I want to be liked. Standing in the pulpit and speaking of temptation or sin is much easier than sitting in the office and asking, "Have you just lied to me?" Speaking truth to an unfaithful or a manipulative spouse does not get you on their "favorite pastors I have known" list!
Still, failing to dissuade another believer from self-deception is not love any more than failing to take matches away from a baby. True and loving fellowship demands accountability.
John Wesley was so concerned with building a righteous fellowship that he devised a series of questions for his followers to ask each other every week. Some found this rigorous system of inquiry too demanding and left.
Chuck Swindoll had seven questions that he and a small group of fellow pastors asked each other.
In Rebuilding Your Broken World, Gordon MacDonald suggests twenty-six questions to help develop accountability and invite feedback among Christians.
This is David Thomas thinking aloud that scripture says, "My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins" (James 5.19-20).
The very idea of asking such tough questions horrifies many churchgoers. Yet some wisely follow this biblical practice. The serious disciple even invites this discipline.
Do you have a friend who loves you so much as to hold you accountable