Thursday, February 12, 2015

Accountability and Love

By the way, let's not confuse tolerance with love. Love is another "T" word entirely - Truth. That's where accountability comes in. 

And who are we to judge? There's certainly a caution here. We are not the religious elite. We are not warriors of Christ policing His pews. We are not the "right" standing against the "wrong." If we're any of these things, we are not loving. We are not in truth. We are doing this wrong. So how do we do it right?

The world says there must be a place for tolerance, that we should, for the most part, let people be, as long as they aren't hurting anyone. Accountability understands how deeply people are hurting someone. Specifically, how deeply they are hurting themselves. Maybe not the self they see when they look in the mirror, but the self God sees when He looks at them. 

Accountability starts in brokenheartedness. 

It starts with seeing more in someone, and wanting more for someone, and understanding how someone's belief, someone's actions, someone's thoughts are holding them back from being the fullest measure of the person they were meant to be. Not....hear me on this....not the person we think they should be or the person the world has allowed for them to be or the person they could be if they'd just "apply themselves" a little more but the person they were created to be, the person God intended when He formed them in their mother's womb. 

It's here where Truth comes in - big T Truth. It's here where discernment comes in. We have to be willing, and able, to see beyond what the world shows us and look into the soul of another person. Willingness...that comes from us. Ableness...that's a gift from God. Unless you have both, it's not fair to move. It's not fair to speak. But commit yourself to prayer for your brother or sister, open yourself to their heart and to God's, and you may be surprised what you know. And when you know it, it will break your heart.

I deal with this a lot. Sometimes, I look at people and I just know...I know they were meant to be so much more. I understand the things in this world that hold people back, the hurts, the wounds, the fears, the doubts, the circumstances. I get it. It doesn't make me any less heartbroken over things. If anything, it makes me moreso. And there are times, too, when I look in the mirror and know the same things - I was meant to be so much more.

What are we supposed to do with that?

The world says to let it be, that it doesn't matter if a man chooses to spend his life as lesser. That it doesn't matter if he lives up to his potential or something so much less. That it may even hurt a man if he thinks he is meant for more but he can never get there. Really? Are we content to let that be the case? Are we content to let men be lesser and to call this love? This isn't love. 

There's no love in tolerance. There's no love in letting things simply be. Love is a verb; it's active. It's something that has to happen, not something that simply is. And love finds its partner in Truth. These two things together...they can never be mistaken for this tolerance we so speak of. Never. Love and Truth demand something more.

They demand action. They demand involvement. They demand relationship and caring and intimacy. They demand vulnerability and tenderness. They demand humility. They demand that we all be invested in something more than our own lives, in something more than the status quo, in something more than fragile peace. And that's all we get, by the way, with tolerance - fragile peace. It's a peace that can crack at any time, any time that anyone thinks he or she is asked for something more. Is that what we want? A world that falls apart when we demand more of it? That's what we have. It's because we're getting this tolerance thing wrong.

It's not about tolerance at all. It's about accountability. We've got to get this right. Because tolerance isn't love. It isn't even truth. It's something far, far less.

And I'm not saying we ought to police one another; that's not it, either. We ought to pursue one another. We ought to love one another so much that we refuse to let people settle for anything less.

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