Tonight on the way home from dinner Lindsey and I had a short, but good, conversation about accountability. I asked her to help me guard myself against pride. It should not surprise anyone who knows me that this is the tough fight for me. Pride and arrogance are, unfortunately, too common in my heart. But, one of the many great things about being married to Lindsey is her willingness to listen, help, and be honest with me.
It was another reminder that the life I have now is so different from the one I had six months ago. I have good friends who I can lean on for confession or accountability, and I have done so before. But in my wife, I have a helper in my fight against, well, anything.
So, we talked about the issue, she asked me some questions about it and we moved on. We stopped at HEB to grab some milk, and while waiting in the car Lindsey dug up a quote from Tolstoy on accountability that we both love. It shed valuable light on this concept for us…
“Not in order to justify, but simply in order to explain my lack of consistency, I say: Look at my present life and then at my former life, and you will see that I do attempt to carry them out. It is true that I have not fulfilled one thousandth part of them [Christian precepts], and I am ashamed of this, but I have failed to fulfill them not because I did not wish to, but because I was unable to. Teach me how to escape from the net of temptations that surrounds me, help me and I will fulfill them; even without help I wish and hope to fulfill them.
Attack me, I do this myself, but attack me rather than the path I follow and which I point out to anyone who asks me where I think it lies. If I know the way home and am walking along it drunkenly, is it any less the right way because I am staggering from side to side! If it is not the right way, then show me another way; but if I stagger and lose the way, you must help me, you must keep me on the true path, just as I am ready to support you. Do not mislead me, do not be glad that I have got lost, do not shout out joyfully: “Look at him! He said he was going home, but there he is crawling into a bog!” No, do not gloat, but give me your help and support.”
― Leo Tolstoy