In my short life I have been a part of a few accountability groups and have witnessed a few in action, and I also have witnessed others confess things before the church seeking help with particular sins and weaknesses. And unfortunately, the way that confessed sin is oftentimes addressed is not with disgust and loving rebuke, but it is with an impotent sympathy that does more to ease the conscience of the confessor than it does to address the problem which he confessed. And I am not guiltless of this. I have had brothers confide struggles with me, and I have neglected their sin by assuring them that we all struggle with similar sins. What I should have done (and what we should do) is, even if we can sympathize with their struggle, address their sin in such a way that they would want to be rid of it, not so that they would feel better about themselves in their sinning.
For in addressing sin in this way, we are actually doing more harm than good, for instead of nurturing a public sort of conviction for the confessor so that he would be all the more diligent in the mortification of his sin, we downplay the seriousness of his sin and weaken the conviction that he has by our supposed sympathy. And while we might understand certain struggles and while we might share the same struggles, we should be wholeheartedly committed to the destruction of those sins rather than edifying a brother or sister with false edification.
Categories: Quick Thoughts