There is a family in our church that my husband and I hold in high esteem. The parents seem especially wise – and accessible. The dad has used Proverbs 7 to teach his boys the dangers of sexual temptation. The chapter begins… “I have seen among the simple…” And the chapter continues to describe the actions of a foolish young man who chooses to seek out the adulteress instead of abiding by the clear instruction of 5:8 to “keep your way from her, and do not go near the door of her house.”
The dad and his boys keep each other accountable with a single phrase… “I have seen among the simple.” And when any of them speak this phrase – they know they are in danger of acting unwisely.
This is the way of community. Transparent accountability to one another with the promise of grace when we fail (because failure is inevitable).
We see this type of relationship between Jesus and Peter. In Luke 22:61, Jesus looks at Peter after he has denied Him for the third time. And Peter knows. He remembers Jesus’ prediction. He remembers his haughty recourse, and Peter crumbles under the weight of his sin. Jesus held Peter accountable for his actions, and Peter was teachable. He did not forsake Jesus’ reproof, but wept with a repentant heart.
We know from the end of John, that Jesus forgives and restores Peter. Jesus is able to hold Peter accountable, but when Peter fails, He gives him grace.
We are called to be in this type of relationship. Whether it’s between a Father and his sons, or between friends, or between an older and younger woman – we need someone to hold us accountable and to be gracious when we fail.
The obedient life is a difficult road – one we cannot hope to travel alone. Find a traveling companion – and get ready to be teachable and gracious. And rest together in the sufficiency of the Savior!