A Second Set of Eyes
The stories just keep coming. Political leaders, community leaders, and church leaders keep showing up in the news because of immoral or unwise choices. We have had our share of the same pain through the years, and it’s devastating every single time we experience it. A few months ago, I quoted Gordon MacDonald when he said, “The first sign of trouble is when you say, ‘It could never happen to me.'” We just don’t want to believe that.
Paul sought to convince the early Jesus-Followers of that. He claimed that none were righteous, not followed flawlessly. He quoted the Psalms and Isaiah as he made clear: NO ONE is righteous or wise. Not one. When we put our trust in Christ, we tend to think in flawed ways about our nature. As long as we realize that every day, we are targets of the evil one, we tend to keep our guard up. When we believe that it COULD happen to us, we operate defensively.
Kelly and I were going to dinner one night, and we had been visiting shops down the street, so when dinner time was approaching, she suggested we just walk. After two blocks, I started noticing a changing setting. Darkness was coming, and I started watching the condition of the buildings, many of which were abandoned. My “situational awareness” went from “caution” to “high risk,” and I said, “We need to turn around and get the car. We’ll be walking through this in darkness after dinner. This isn’t wise.”
We need to exercise that same caution about life in general, with particular attention to the highest risk areas of money, sex, and power. THESE are the core targets for believers. And nothing helps us in the day-to-day assessment of risk like a second set of eyes. Enlisting faithful men and women into our confidence allows us the chance for others to filter our actions against scripture. They tend to see things we overlook or minimize. I have found that without this second set of eyes, I would miss far too much, and my situational awareness would lower my guard. With this kind of risk in mind, the Apostle Paul gave this admonition to the early church: “Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.” He says this right after a section in which he has called on believers to pursue living by the Spirit’s power.
So, who holds the second set of eyes in your life? To whom do you choose to submit because of your reverence for Christ? If you can’t think of someone, please devote some time and effort to develop those relationships. After all, discipleship is a team sport!