I’m continuing to work through the many thought provoking questions that came up during the Advance.
One of the participants raised an interesting point about being in an accountability group: How do you make sure that you are making progress for God and not just to please the members of your group?
Very interesting question. I never thought about it, but I could see situations where I am focusing on showing progress so much that I develop a tunnel vision to the point that I disconnect from the purpose behind it. In other words, show what others want to see rather than being patient and let God transform my heart on His timeline.
A very blunt example from my early spiritual life is showing up to various faith based events to show others that I am serious … and probably more importantly to find a girlfriend. God was an afterthought.
Probably a more recent example is me trying to be more expressive during during praise and worship. As an introvert, my default tendency at church was to have a serious demeanor. In fact, I frequently labeled people who were “all into it” at church as show offs.
As I grew in my faith, I challenged myself to be more expressive. Something very unnatural to me. But, hey, I believe in taking steps of faith so that the Holy Spirit can work through me. Why not apply it to praise and worship?
So to be completely honest, when I stepped out of the comfort zone at Advance, big part of it was seeing other men in my Fire Team stepping out first and … I didn’t want to let them down.
A lot of hand waiving, some singing and some quiet “Thank you Jesus.” Might not seem like much, but it’s a TON by my standards.
Most importantly, I felt a lot more connected to God. The praise and worship steps of faith gave me joy in the moment and peace afterwards. Peace, because I din’t feel guilt that I should have done more.
As such, the main criteria for healthy progress in accountability groups is whether I feel joy and peace about my steps of faith.
Not surprisingly, joy and peace also happen to be the fruits of the Holy Spirit!
Who is holding you accountable? Do you feel peace and joy from your progress?
Don’t know how to get started? We tend to be very good at solving problems with our minds. However, when our romantic relationships suffer, we don’t feel fulfilled at work, or don’t have quality friends … it typically has very little to do with logic. It’s driven by a locked up heart.
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