Strong and Courageous | Day Twelve
By: Kate Downing
Somehow, I always manage to get lipstick on my teeth. The worst incidents are when no one tells me and I carry on full conversations with a big smear of pink on my teeth! I choose to think of it as a test of friendship. No matter how embarrassing it is for you or your friends, good friends will tell you if you have lipstick on your teeth!
Today, we fast forward to Joshua 22 to look at an incredible example of accountability. Two of the tribes of Israel were caught in what looked like a rebellion against God. Seeing what looked like sin in their friends’ and families’ lives, the remaining ten tribes called out their alleged sin and challenged them to do something about it. Though it’s far from pointing out lipstick on a friend’s teeth, holding a friend accountable to living a life that honors God is the “good friend” thing to do.
Today, we are going to look at what it means to be strong and courageous in accountability.
Take a few minutes to pray over these things:
· Thank the Lord for the privilege it is to study His Word today.
· Ask God to help you understand the importance of accountability.
· Ask God to show you who it is in your life you can ask to hold you accountable to living a life that honors Him.
To hold someone accountable means to hold them responsible to keeping or living up to a pre-determined set of rules or standards. Romans 14:12 tells us that each one of us will have to “give account” of how we lived up to God’s righteous standard. God holds us accountable to obey Him, and we are called to hold one another accountable to live in a way that honors Him.
Read Joshua 22:1-6. Who is Joshua addressing in this passage?
Rewrite in your own words the instructions Joshua gives them in verse five.
If you remember back to day five, we briefly discussed that two and a half tribes of Israel were given land on the east side of the Jordan River. This was the side the Israelites crossed from as they began to conquer the land of Canaan. Yesterday, we left off in chapter ten. From the incredible battle explained in chapter ten to the charge Joshua gave these two and half tribes in chapter twenty-two, Joshua led the Israelites in incredible victories over the people of Canaan.
They conquered much of the land and were now entering into a season of rest. The tribes of Gad, Reuben, and half of Manasseh were heading back to the east side of the Jordan to settle in the portions of land that were given to them. From now on, we’ll call these two and a half tribes the “East Tribes” and the nine and a half other tribes the “West Tribes.”
Read Joshua 22:10-12. What did the East Tribes do on their way to their land (vs. 10)?
How did the West Tribes respond to this?
Read Joshua 22:13-20. What issue did the West Tribes have with the East Tribes (vs. 16, 19)?
The West Tribes were willing to go to war with the East Tribes over what they saw as sin in their lives. They believed the East Tribes were building an altar to worship another god and were therefore rebelling against God and Joshua’s command (vs. 5). The West Tribes were willing to battle for their countrymen or to give up their own land (vs. 19). They offered to allow the East Tribes to live with them if that would keep them from turning away from God. They were willing to do whatever it took to keep them from this sin.
Read Joshua 22:24-29, 34. Why did the East Tribes really build the altar?
Was their reason sinful?
Though the East Tribes had God-honoring intentions in building the altar, the West Tribes demonstrate for us what it means to be a Godly friend. The West Tribes loved their brothers in the East and wanted to do whatever it took to help them walk with God. They were even willing to go to war on behalf of their relationship with God. They called them out on what they believed to be their sin, but they did it in love. They were willing to allow the East Tribes to come live in their land. They were willing to hold their friends and family accountable to God’s commands.
Are you the kind of friend who holds her friends accountable to God’s commands?
Are you willing to go to war on behalf of your friend’s walk with God?
Do you have the kind of friends who do these things for you?
We cannot live strong and courageous unless we live in a community of accountability. Sometimes it’s awkward and embarrassing to tell your friend she has lipstick on her teeth, but that’s what a true friend does. It’s awkward and embarrassing to call a friend out on her sin, but that’s what a true friend does.
It’s important to remember the key is holding your friend accountable to her walk with the Lord in love. Love causes our words to be kind, our intentions to be pure, and our heart to be broken for our friend’s sin before we ever bring it up to her.
So, will you be a strong and courageous friend today? Will you ask your friends if you have permission to hold them accountable to their walk with the Lord? And, will you ask them to do the same for you? Will you begin to build a community of godly accountability in your life?
Spend the next few minutes asking the Lord to help you be strong and courageous in accountability, in holding your friends accountable to walking with God and in being accountable yourself.
Complete this sentence and write it down in your notes or on your phone: