4. Whom are you accountable for?
‘Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers’ (1Tim 4:16; NIV).
A pilgrim moves toward eternity, maintaining doctrinal purity and integrity of his life and having perseverance to get to his goal. He is also called to be accountable for his neighbor. Ultimately, the beneficiaries are both ourselves and our hearers.
Right from the time when Cain retorted to God’s question about Abel, ‘Am I my brother’s keeper?’ man’s tendency has been no different. When Jesus summed up the commandments as loving God and loving one’s neighbor, it was a call to be accountable to one’s neighbor as a consequence of our love for God.
What does it meant to be accountable to your neighbor? Your neighbor who is anybody who comes into contact with you- your family, friends, colleagues and so on. First, your words need to impact them. Far too many Christians are silent about their faith. When your neighbor asks you for a reason for the hope you have, you need to, with gentleness and respect tell them about Jesus who gave you a hope and a future. How will anyone come to know the truth unless someone who knows tells them?
Second, your life needs to impact them. And a life lived in obedience to God will naturally impact those that come into contact with it. When a lamp is taken to a dark place, the lamp does not need to do anything special or artificial to dispel the darkness. A pilgrim naturally responds to circumstances around him and makes a statement with his life even when he does not try. In the words of St Francis of Assisi, ‘Preach the gospel at all times and when necessary use words’.
We have concluded the initial series of pertinent questions for a pilgrim. If you have been encouraged by these articles, you could consider either sharing with your friends or posting on facebook. And yes, don’t hesitate to write your comments- they encourage and prompt evaluation.
- FOUR QUESTIONS FOR A PILGRIM-PART 3
- WHY CELEBRATE A NEW YEAR?