An Ounce of Prevention

The catastrophe of King David underscores what can happen when leaders fail to create a structure in which they are answerable for how they spend both their private and professional time. Ultimately, as he did with David, God will hold everyone accountable (especially leaders). The Bible shows us the dangers of living our lives free of accountability.

Most leaders don’t experience a sudden blow-out in their lives. More often it’s a slow leak that leads to disaster.   A man can deceive himself into thinking that a small compromise will not matter. But small steps, taken consistently, add up to a great distance. Small compromise has a snowball effect; momentum develops, and before we realize what’s happening, life spins out of control.  Once that train is moving, it’s tough to just jump off for the purpose of self-preservation.  Believe me; I know this fact all too well!

David didn’t just wake up one morning and decide to trash his life by committing adultery with one of his mighty men’s wives and then having that man killed. David had already begun the descent into spiritual sloth by making small compromises. He began by taking an additional wife, then another and another and another. Eventually David had seven wives in all, but even that wasn’t enough. So, he stocked a harem. David had a slow leak of self-control. And he compounded that problem by not having anyone around who would tell him about the problem.

When another Christian falls into obvious sin, an admonition is imperative, because God’s Word demands it. The practice of discipline in the community of faith begins with friends who are close to one another. Words of admonition and reproach must be risked.  If we are not intentional about inviting someone like Nathan into our lives, God will provide a Nathan for us. But by then it may be too late to spare us from the consequences.

Wise leaders don’t wait for a crisis to establish accountability. Accountability relationships cannot be imposed; they must be invited. The onus is on leaders to establish structures and relationships that hold them accountable for their sin and unleash their God given potential. We must seek out godly people of mature character and give them permission to ask us the tough questions. This requires risk on our part. It requires honesty and vulnerability – risky things that leaders are often skittish about. However, as anyone who has suffered the consequences of a fall will tell you, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

More to come about why I began being accountable…


Digital Sojourner would like to thank Long Vo for writing this guest post.

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Jottings – The Bucket of Your Speech

That which lies in the well of your thought will come up in the bucket of your speech.

This was written by Dwight L. Moody on the flyleaf of his Bible. I came across this gem while reading the book “Notes From My Bible” which was originally published in 1895 by the Fleming H. Revell Company. The book is a collection of notes, anecdotes, and illustrations that D. L. Moody recorded on the margins of his Bible.

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