As humans, we have a tendency to gravitate toward like-minded individuals and passions. Our society dictates this model through political correctness, polling, media, rugged individualism, and Climate Change. (Okay…not so much Climate Change but you catch my drift.) The danger is we subscribe to it like sheep in relationships and because we are like-minded we are easily deceived and we believe that everything is okay in our little like-minded world. So we scratch our heads wondering when the wheels fell off the wagon. But why do we subscribe to it? Why do we dismiss a need for true meaningful accountability?
The first reason-It is comfortable. As you meet with friends, you will find that you look the same. You have the same likes, desires, and dislikes. You worship the same. You agree on the same political platforms. You may even like the same football teams. You may even hate the same football teams. You may even subscribe to society’s idea of success-The big house in the gated community, 3.2 kids, the latest cell phone, newest car, and financial portfolio. While there is nothing wrong with these things. The danger is when men view their affluence as a form of holiness. So we look at the cover of the book and judge everything is cool. After all, you and your buddy didn’t vote for that guy. Things will turn out. We will just keep listening to talk radio and complain all the time. Yes. It’s a shame his wife resents him for not being employed and hanging out with you. But things will work out when the economy turns. There is comfort in being like-minded.
The second reason-It is easy. Like-mindedness can be void of challenge. The conversations are easy and shallow. They are just on the surface. The prayer requests are simple. The dirt really never hits the fan and when topics get heavy you can reel in that hook before you get too deep and get a bite. Lord forbid you actually talk about anything with real substance. You wouldn’t want to challenge your buddy’s weekly golf appointment because he appears to have it all while his family crumbles. After all, your buddy is like you. Self-made man and any issues that arise, you can handle. You don’t need this accountability stuff. You show up to church on Sundays and give. Your kids are fine and you definitely don’t want to challenge your wife’s secret daily Starbucks habit as long as you keep your habits a secret. At least that’s what the new cute secretary tells you. You have a good job. God must be blessing you. So we bumble through life thinking everything is okay and we maintain shallow relationships. It is dangerous.
As I continue to strive and seek accountability in my relationships, I have noticed a need for discomfort and difficulty when engaging certain groups. Tension is good. I need to be told what I need to hear not what I want to hear. I don’t need relationships where men will justify my mistakes, rationalize my failures, and encourage my proclivities. I need men in my life committed to life transformation through Christ who will tell me unapologetically that I am not the man God wants me to be. I need friends who will call me out and cry “bull” and tell me to shape-up, clean-up, and Man-Up.
In my accountability relationships, I have the license to ask the tough questions to seek answers to the dark off-limits of manhood. And I allow those tough questions to be posed towards me. Because, ultimately the goal is not just be a good man today…but to be a great man everyday for years to come. It is long process. It is a life long process.
In a recent group discussion, I challenged over thirty like-minded men that their lives depend on life-minded accountability. Let me repeat that. Your life depends on accountability. (I’m not a gambling man…but I bet there were 30 different reactions to that statement.) If you continue to maintain surface like-minded relationships you will survive but you won’t live. You will fake it at work, at church, at home and you will achieve an emptiness that our society calls success.
Conversely, if you seek life-minded relationships, you strike at the core issues of life and you will begin to live. My challenge to you. Every man needs accountability. Your life depends on it. Seek men who are life-minded and committed to life-transformation through Christ. Today.