Look me in the eye

“Did you Facebook-stalk when you found out?” 

Her big brown eyes now seemed sharp, her focus trained as she stared me down across our steaming mugs of tea. 

“No. No, I actually didn’t. But good question, definitely right to ask, thanks.”

Welcome to this thing me and my mate Freya do, this thing Christians call “accountability”. 

According to my trusty degree-helper, Mr. Dictionary.com, to be accountable means a person is: subject to the obligation to report, explain, or justify something; responsible; answerable.’ This basically means, Freya and I have given each other total authority to ask uncomfortable questions and dig deeper into each other’s behavior, attitudes and how we out-work our faith. We have agreed to challenge the hell out of each other, no punches pulled, no topic too personal, no area of life not allowed to be put into the light to see what Jesus has to say. 

Whether that be secret attitudes towards our image, other people, how we behave at eleven o’clock at night on our own with the boyfriend, or that attitude we think is true but is actually way more to do with our family history than what the Bible says, we want to call it. We want to look at ourselves and our lives and figure out the truth.

Why? Because we know we can get away with a lot of stuff that is less than God’s best for us, if we are left up to our own devices.  Humans are experts at choosing to do the destructible thing, rather than the God-thing. I know I can’t follow Jesus and live more and more like the God of love calls us to live, without help. There’s always a reason not to, I can always make up an excuse that lets me get away with Miriam’s way winning, I can ignore the nudges of the Holy Spirit.

I can’t ignore Freya when she looks me in the eye and doesn’t let me change the subject, out of love for Jesus and me. Even when it’s uncomfortable, we won’t compromise trying to radically follow Jesus in our ordinary every-days.

The Message translation of Colossians 3: 15- 17 explains what God calls us to pursue:

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way.

I cannot put into words the difference this level of sisterhood in pursuit of living a transparent and teachable life has made to myself and Freya. We are growing up in Jesus, no question, and it is making us more fearless for Jesus in every area of our lives, because we know we are forgiven, loved and supported. Please, stop and think right now: who can you ask to join you in this adventure of honesty and integrity? 

Who will you get to look you in the eye?

Miriam Swanson

Global Student Mission Leader

Miriam helps equip the church for student mission internationally. She's based in the USA and hungry to see young adults follow Jesus with all of who they are. 

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