Friday, July 03, 2009

Accountability, Hypocrisy & Fraud

I sat down, pen in hand, my paper a blank slate and was preparing to write something about Accountability, Hypocrisy and Fraud. My mind flew to the note I wrote a week ago, the fish dish and the challenge to let things go. I thought about the implications and the responsibility of continuing to let go...

No sooner had I placed my pen on the page there was a crash in my kitchen. The crash that only comes from a dish shattering as it comes in contact with the floor. The casualty? Another fish dish – this time it was a mug.

My initial reaction was Aggh – nobody move! My second thought was to catalogue the irony! My third called for integrity and accountability. In other words, “JP, what’s your next move? Who are you really when nobody’s looking?”

Now, I promise not to write a note every time a dish is broken at our home. But c’mon, what are the odds of this kind of timing? And just what are these little lessons we learn without testing and the accountability or our peers?

In my nice little semi-suburban home I am pleasantly isolated from the eyes of a watching world. You see only what I allow you to see. You trust me to be sincere and truthful about my life and experiences and I expect the same of you.

We have opened a door in our lives and have agreed to let one another in. We have allowed others to comment and critique our lives from a distance. We are reservedly letting down our guard and becoming vulnerable, looking for friendship and encouragement while hoping that our trust is well placed and well deserved. In some sense we are attempting to figure out life together.

So, I am compelled by our relationship though, tenuous, to act responsibly and with integrity. And, nothing puts our integrity to the test like the crashing elements of reality – whatever they may be. My response to the unfortunate fish mug and the offending child must line up with my lesson learned about letting go. But, who is to know, and I control, to some degree, what others know about me.

I have at times been a hypocrite, and I could very easily, though not in good conscience, live a fraudulent life without anyone’s immediate knowledge. But, hypocrisy always shows itself in the end. Jesus had strong words for hypocrites, particularly those in positions of power and influence. Read Matthew 23:13-33 for more details.

I believe it is because of our incredible tendency toward hypocrisy that Paul wrote in Hebrews 10:24-25

“Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another – and all the more as you see the day approaching.”

All of us are potential frauds. But, we have the fantastic opportunity to live life alongside one another. Call it good peer pressure. Life is too difficult for anyone of us to do it alone. No one has the corner market on wisdom. And, no one is perfect. I, for one, need the community of friends, family and the Word of God to motivate me to be honest, accountable for my actions and true to my word. If you are reading this, I want you to know that I am thankful for you.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” - King Solomon / Ecclesiastes 4:9-10

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