Internet Accountability

As an affiliate for Covenant Eyes, I am interested in promoting Internet accountability and filtering.  This is a letter I received from Ron DeHaas, the president of Covenant Eyes.  I submit this to you for your consideration and encourage you to think about the dangers of pornography, particularly how accessible sexually explicit material is on the Internet.

(This from Ron DeHaas)

As President of Covenant Eyes, I have witnessed first-hand the insidious nature of pornography, as well as the redeeming—and in some cases life-saving—results of a positive accountability relationship.

But I have an urgent and compelling need for your help. Are you a parent? Or a pastor or priest? Are you a single man or woman who uses the Internet? Are you part of a small group, such as a men’s or women’s study group? Are you alive and reading this? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, please help!

Pornography is destroying lives.

My growing sense of urgency comes from my own growing knowledge of the tsunami that is coming.

Every day I see new evidence of the relationship between pornography and sex trafficking (read this blog post for examples). Pornography is sex trafficking!

And every day, I hear nightmarish stories of lives that are devastated by pornography… broken relationships between husbands and wives, pastors or priests and their churches, men or women at work, and tragically, children and parents. (Just take a look at these comments to get a taste of what we hear.)

But at the same time, I hear the exciting stories of lives that are completely transformed by an accountable relationship. Marriages revitalized, ministries preserved, children saved—the transforming power of genuine relationship through accountability!

If you are interested in Internet accountability and filtering, please check out the Covenant Eyes website for more information.  You can also learn more by visiting my Internet Safety page.  If you are interested in Covenant Eyes, you can receive a 30-day free trial by signing up here.

Accountability

I have been reflecting on the importance of accountability. Do you have other people who can hold you accountable in your Christian life? In my own life I have seen the importance of accountability. I need to have other people speak into my life. When I do not have input from other people, my spiritual life can often become stagnant.

In reflecting on my Christian life, my times of greatest struggle and failure were the times I had the least accountability from other people. It is not my intention to minimize the importance of the fact that we will ultimately be held accountable by God. However, it is our duty as Christians to come alongside other Christians as they walk with the Lord.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1–2, ESV)

I ask myself, “Who am I helping?” We all have struggles, and I know that I need people to come alongside of me to teach, encourage, and correct me.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7–8, ESV)

I look back on the times that I have sown to the flesh and wish that I would have had someone who would have challenged me about my spiritual life in those the times. Again, I do not want to blame other people for not holding me accountable and I recognize my personal responsibility. But consider this verse.

So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians 6:10, ESV)

One of the responsibilities of the Christian community is accountability. Do you see an area of your life where you are sowing to the flesh rather than the Spirit? If so, find people who can challenge you in that area and encourage you and hold you accountable to have victory in that area.

Do you see another person sowing to the flesh rather than the Spirit? I encourage you to do what you can to speak into their lives.

Accountability can take many different forms. While I do not know how to handle every situation, I know that we all need accountability. I believe that an attitude of complete accountability to God and our fellow Christians will increase the effectiveness of our spiritual lives by helping us have victory over sin in every area of our lives. I challenge you to find accountability in the areas where you need it and to hold other people accountable in the areas where they need it. We must be willing to both give and receive teaching, encouragement, and correction.

The Mercy of Jesus

In loving kindness Jesus came
My soul in mercy to reclaim
And from the depths of sin and shame
Through grace He lifted me.

He called me long before I heard,
Before my sinful heart was stirred,
But when I took Him at His word,
Forgiv’n He lifted me.

His brow was pierced with many a thorn,
His hands by cruel nails were torn,
When from my guilt and grief, forlorn,
In love He lifted me.

Now on a higher plane I dwell,
And with my soul I know ’tis well;
Yet how or why, I cannot tell,
He should have lifted me.

From sinking sand He lifted me,
With tender hand He lifted me,
From shades of night to plains of light,
O praise His name, He lifted me!

(Charles H. Gabriel)

It’s Not What…

“It is not what men eat but what they digest that makes them strong;
not what we gain but what we save that makes us rich;
not what we read but what we remember that makes us learned;
not what we preach but what we practice that makes us Christians.”
(Francis Bacon)

Invest Correctly

In one of my college classes, a professor named Sandy Zensen emphasized two points. His first point was that we should invest our lives in people. That is what Jesus did, and we would do well to follow his example.

His second point is captured in this statement: “I am not afraid of failure, but I am afraid of succeeding at something that doesn’t really matter.” I agree with that sentiment. Our greatest fear should not be of failure. Our greatest fear should be of being successful at the wrong thing.