Monday, August 11, 2014


Don't Shoot the Wounded: Our Role in Accountability (Galatians 6:1-10)

About 4 years ago I was leading an Adult Bible Community at Thomas Road Baptist Church.  Some of the members of that group wanted to start accountability relationships, so I presented the following lesson to them.  I think the material here is relevant to many of us today.  How do we respond to others?  How do we keep each other accountable?  Paul discusses these issues within the context of the church in Galatia with whom he was familiar.  He offers this material to a group of people dealing with a variety of issues in their fellowship.  In a nutshell, he says that relationship is prior to accountability.  Without relationship, accountability will most likely not happen.  At any rate, the outline follows the passage (quoted from the Holman Christian Standard):

Galatians 6:1-10 "Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you won't be tempted also.  Carry one another's burdens; in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.  For if anyone considers himself to be something when he is nothing, he is deceiving himself.  But each person should examine his own work, and then he will have a reason for boasting in himself alone, and not in respect to someone else.  For each person will have to carry his own load.  The one who is taught the message must share his goods with the teacher.  Don't be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap, because the one who sows to his flesh will reap corruption from the flesh, but the one who sows to the Spirit will reap eternal life from the Spirit.  So we must not get tired of doing good, for we will reap at the proper time if we don't give up.  Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith."

Don’t Shoot the Wounded
Our Role in Accountability

Galatians 6:1-10

False accusations and a wounding
Loss of fellowship and misunderstanding

The Story of Chuck Girard
a. Conversion
b. Contemporary Christian musician
c. Late 70s
d. Leaving the music business
e. A bout with alcoholism
The Song: "Don’t Shoot the Wounded"

Galatians 6:1-5, 9-10
Our role in accountability
1. Passionate involvement
2. Radical hospitality
3. Extravagant Generosity
4. Intentional Discipleship
5. Risk-Taking Service

Galatians 6:1
1. Accountability is being Passionately Involved in each other’s lives

Caught in a Trap (James 5:19-20)
a. Note that this is a “brother”—accountability works best where relationship exists
b. We are family
c. Note that this sibling is “caught”
This is not a perceived sin
There are no “gotchas” in the body of Christ
Don't Shoot the Wounded: develop a relationship with them to restore them 

2. Accountability requires us to practice a Radical Hospitality

Spirit of Gentleness (Ephesians 4:25-32)
a. Accountability works best where love exists
b. This restoration should not be done with a harsh attitude
c. Accountability requires a level of trust and grace

Watch Out! (2 Cor. 2:7-8; 2 Thess. 3:14-15)
a. Accountability works best when we are paying as much attention to our own failures as to those of others, we must have an intentional discipleship for ourselves
b. Remember that you are most likely to see problems where you struggle the most

Don’t Shoot the Wounded
They need healing and help: Accountability should lead to restoration
Someday you may be one

Galatians 6:2
3. Accountability requires an Extravagant Generosity

Bearing Burdens and the Law of Christ (Romans 15:1-2; John 13:34-35; 15:12-14)
a. Accountability works best when we build up instead of tear down (Hebrews 12:12-16): We must be ready to strengthen others and to help them in their weakness instead of looking for opportunities to make ourselves look better in light of the failures of others
b. Bearing burdens requires effort on our part. We may actually have to lift and carry. It is not passive.

What is the Law of Christ?
a. The Law of Christ is Life (Romans 8:2)
b. The Law of Christ is Love (John 13:34-35; 15:12-14)
c. Accountability works best when love is present (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)
Love is patient, transparent, does not try to belittle another
Love is willing to be wronged rather than to do harm

Don’t Shoot the Wounded
Love Requires that we deal with the problem and not ignore it
Accountability should lead to restoration, not death

Galatians 6:3-5
4. Accountability requires an Intentional Discipleship in our own lives

Humility or Pride? (James 1:25; Phil. 2:3-4)
a. Accountability works best when we operate with a realization of our own sinfulness instead of a perception of our own superiority
b. We must learn to put the sincere needs of others ahead of our own needs
c. We must not presume sin, but neither should we ignore it
d. If sin is clear in our hearts, we must confess
e. If sin is clear in others, we must confront BUT with love

Bearing Burdens, Part 2
a. Accountability works best when we are brutally honest about ourselves and to ourselves
b. Before Christ we are responsible primarily for our own actions, not the actions of others
c. I am responsible to God for what I do, not for what others do (Speck and log)

Don’t Shoot the Wounded
Seek to offer the help you want when you are injured

Galatians 6:9-10
5. Accountability involves a Risk-Taking Attitude of Service

Don’t Lose Heart, Don’t Grow Weary, Don’t Give in
a. Perseverance counts in helping others
b. The end result is worth the effort (Hebrews 12:12-16): Sanctification
c. Satan doesn’t give up, neither should we!

Do Good, Not harm

Take advantage of opportunities
a. Do not go looking for “bad situations,” but look for a chance to do good
b. Keep an eye out for things you can do to bless others

Don’t shoot the wounded
Do no harm
Do as God has done for you

Now What?
What does accountability look like?
First, choose partners wisely
Pray and wait
Don’t rush into this relationship
Keep the group small, no more than 3 or 4

Second, meet regularly
Set a date and keep it

Third, practice transparency
Tell the truth about your own struggles
Be honest

Fourth, keep confidences

Fifth, practice hospitality and acceptance

Don’t shoot the wounded, love them back to health

Thanks for reading!

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