The traits of a God Buddy relationship in this series of posts are used as the foundation for a deeper friendship with another man.
As you and your GB become increasingly comfortable revealing your weaknesses to each other, you will become better men. But there’s a difficult trait needed at times that really helps “sharpen” you: Confrontation, Confession, and Accountability.
In my last post on Nonjudgmental Acceptance and Unconditional Love, I indicated that loving your God Buddy was not judging them despite their flaws and mistakes. But that doesn’t mean accepting their sins.
Your GB relationship will inevitably reach a point when one of you senses there remains something hidden “behind the mask” and some gentle confrontation, honest confession, and accountability for improvement is needed.
Can You Handle the Truth?
So what happens when its time to “get real” and speak the truth in love to each other?
There is a memorable quote from the 1992 film, A Few Good Men in which court-martial lawyer, Daniel Kaffee (played by Tom Cruise) exposes the false testimony of Colonel Nathan R. Jessup (played by Jack Nicholson) surrounding the death of a Marine named Santiago. When pressed by Kaffee to tell the truth, Colonel Jessup abruptly yells “You can’t handle the truth!”, which is used in the military to deny someone information deemed too sensitive.
As you begin to go deeper and draw closer to each other, you may hear some hard truths about your sins and blind-spots from your GB. This usually comes through gentle but firm confrontation, confession, and accountability.
God Buddies use gentle but firm confrontation to speak the truth in love and without judgment. In order to help you become more “Christ-like” (one of the main goals of GBs), you must first understand that sin has been bred into mankind since the days of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” which is a theme reiterated in Romans 5:12: “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (KJV).
No one is exempt. It’s in all of our genes.
Our sinful nature and ungodly actions –whether outwardly apparent or unperceived, often needs a personal rebuke (another word for confrontation). All too often, we are blind to our sin, especially when we’re right in the middle of it so we can easily deny it.
Even today’s culture convinces us that our thoughts and actions are considered more of a “struggle” or “weakness” than a true sin. The less egregious sins of pride, anger, lust from “wandering eyes”, workaholism or slothfulness are considered commonplace.
The Bible also says, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently.” (Galatians 6:1)
Gentle but firm confrontation helps eradicate our sinful behavior. But unchecked sin separates us from God.
God can get down to the deepest issues of our sin to eradicate them and often works through our God Buddies.
Don’t be afraid to “own it” and confess the sin to your GB so he knows about it. Sometimes it will hurt or is embarrassing, but hearing the truth about yourself and confessing is an important aspect for your personal and spiritual growth. It won’t help if you continue to hide your issues.
James 5:16 tells us “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
The apostle Paul also tells the early church, “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (Acts 3:19).
Repentance means you say, “I have sinned” and prove it with a 180-degree change of direction. Confession with repentance is NOT simply asking for forgiveness with the intent to sin again. It’s an honest and regretful acknowledgment of our sins, coupled with the commitment to change.
Confession and repentance also need some accountability in order to eradicate the bad habits that prohibit God Buddies from becoming more Christ-like.
Accountability starts by giving your GB permission to ask you about your sins… and allowing him to ask you often. Accountability is not just a one-time event. Tell your GB to be brutally honest with you. Ask him to point out your blind-spots and to not pull any punches. The truth may hurt or be embarrassing, but you will become a better man for it.
In addition to the verses above, the Bible reminds us that God also holds us accountable. Romans 14:12 says, “So then each of us shall give an account of himself to God.” This is personal accountability.
Scripture also tells us humanity is accountable to one another. 1 Corinthians 12 says that Christians are all part of the body of Christ and that each member belongs to the other. We are to help each other.
Another aspect of accountability is encouraging each other to grow in our spiritual maturity. Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
Additionally, 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says to, “…encourage one another and build each other up…” It’s important that every man have at least one man in which to confide, pray with, listen to, and encourage him to help set us free from our sins.
That famous statement, “You can’t handle the truth!” reminds me of another statement from Jesus who said that“The truth will set you free.” (John 8:32).
GBs Can Handle The Truth
Today, the world needs more, good men –God Buddies, if you will, who are willing to speak the truth in love to each other.
Give your God Buddy permission to correct you with truth in love whenever it’s needed. GBs don’t just tell the other what they want to hear — they confront, require confession, and are accountable to each other for change.
Pastor Rick Warren suggests in this recent post that you begin and end on a positive note whenever you speak-the-truth-in-love with somebody by affirming these things:
- You love and care for that person.
- You will pray for and help that person.
- You believe that person can change.
The next trait of a God Buddy relationship is Loyalty and Dependability.
In the meantime, take that first big step by admitting your weaknesses to your God Buddy. I guarantee the freedom that comes after doing so is well worth it!