I got the news today, oh boy. About someone I once knew that had recently died, way too young. That got me thinking about all of the people that I have known, in my short life, who are no longer with us. That, in turn got me thinking about how short and how precious life truly is. All of this then got me thinking about how long I have lived this precious life, suffering from the disease of accountability avoidance. The main symptom of this disease is trying to get out of the problems that I have caused, by my own free will decisions, without accountability. Which led me down the rabbit-hole of: Why can’t we simply fess up to our mess ups? Crazy how the mind works.
Exhibit #1: A Supreme Court case about the right of a student to post vulgar and derogatory comments on social media about the cheerleading squad, of which they are a member, at their school. And, conversely, the school’s right to hold a student accountable for the vulgar and derogatory posts on social media about the cheerleading squad, of which they are a member, at their school.
Exhibit #2: A person purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home from a dealership in Oklahoma. On the way home from a football game they drove on to the freeway and then set the cruise control. At which time they left the driver’s seat to go and make a sandwich! Needless to say, the motor home veered off the freeway and crashed. This person then sued Winnebago for, are you ready, not writing in the owner’s manual that a person can’t actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control was on. If that isn’t sad enough, a jury agreed and awarded them $1,750,000 PLUS a brand-new motor home. Because of this judgment, Winnebago has updated their owner’s manuals to remind all future drivers that one cannot actually leave the driver’s seat while the cruise control is engaged.
In response to stories such as these, some might blame the liberals, pointing to the roots of socialism that are taking hold in our country. Still others might blame the conservatives, pointing to the deregulation of our governmental and legal systems. The one thing that all of us know is that this accountability avoidance disease is nothing new.
Adam blamed Eve when he was busted eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. In like manner, Eve, in turn, blamed the serpent for her bad choice. Abraham lied to Pharaoh about Sarah being his wife in order to save his _ _ _. Rebekah tricked Isaac into blessing Jacob instead of his first-born son Esau, because she liked Jacob better. Peter denied Jesus three times. Even though, just hours before, Jesus had told Peter that he would deny him three times. And on and on and on we go. Accountability avoidance in the face of our mess ups in life.
You also suffer from this disease. By the way, thinking that you don’t suffer from this disease is the main symptom of this disease. Yet, there is a cure and it is available to all, regardless of age, race, gender and socio-economic standing. This cure doesn’t require a hospital stay, surgery or health insurance.
The cure is the grace of God that is yours through faith in Jesus. Once you embrace the grace, you will gain the courage to fess up to your mess ups. For you will have nothing to fear, because you can’t mess up your way out of God’s love.
No need for a lawyer or the Supreme Court to step in. All you need to do is be you, knowing that you are loved by God, and allow the chips to fall where they may. Be accountable for who you are and what you do. If you are big enough to make choices, be big enough to take the consequences of those choices.