Unity: Developing Strong Accountability
"Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ." - 1 Corinthians 12:12
Way back in ancient Greece, in many battles, the Spartan army would form together in unity with their shields in hand and cover one another from enemy fire (arrows). As each arrow is being deflected from their shields, it only means that their form is working and that they have a strong chance at winning the battle. If any soldier was out of place, their line was more likely to die from incoming fire, also leaving a gaping hole in their ranks for even more arrows to cause more death.
The reason for this example is to inform those of you who have fallen short due to poor choices, which we have all done. It's also to those of you who have received Christ for the first time. I can’t tell you the countless times I’ve failed Jesus due to my stupidity.
What I can tell you is that HE has given me grace over and over again. Not only from Him directly, but also through my brothers and sisters in Christ. God not only wants us to follow His ways, but to do so in unity.
Like the example about the Spartan army, we are only strong if we stick together. But how do we protect ourselves from oncoming temptations? We must practice our form, not only individually but also as a body. We all have a personal connection with God, but we can easily lose that connection if we decide to go about our faith alone. That’s why it is extremely dangerous to shy away from the people that want you to live on like Jesus. Even moving away from the group could cause a temptation for another person within it, thereby leaving them out in the open with a huge gap to fill.
But how can we close the gap? In 1 Thessalonians 5:11 it says, "Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” The context of that verse is to prepare one another for the second coming of Christ. As we should daily. It also says in Galatians 6:1-2, "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” So not only is it important to close the gap to defend ourselves, but we must also consider opening it “as one” to those who are searching for help, inviting them to join the ranks of those of us fighting for Christ.