You‘re Not Superman, You Know:
“Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12).
There’s a funny line in the first Spiderman movie, in the scene where Peter (Spiderman) Parker is in the hospital with his aunt, who has just been attacked by the villain, the Green Goblin. His aunt says to him, “You do too much. You‘re not Superman, you know.” It’s ironic because she doesn’t know he’s actually Spiderman, another costumed superhero. I thought of that line when I was preparing for today’s devotional, and wanted to say the same thing to you: You’re not Superman (or Superwoman) you know. What do I mean by that?
We live in a day and age when people are very independent. Everyone wants to try to do things for themselves. “Everything’s okay.” “I can handle it by myself.” But the truth is, God never intended for us to go through life by ourselves. God said in Genesis 2:18, “It is not good that man should be alone.” In the Kingdom of God, there are no Lone Rangers. In fact, even the Lone Ranger wasn’t alone – he had his Native American side-kick, Tonto. Batman had his Boy-Wonder Robin. Calvin had Hobbes. Han Solo had Chewbacca the Wookie. Everybody needs somebody. That’s what our Scripture from Ecclesiastes is talking about. Two are better than one – if one of them falls down, the other can help them out. And I like the New Living Translation’s interpretation of verse 12, “A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer.”
Today, I want to challenge you to find an accountability partner for yourself. If you don’t have someone that you pray together with on a regular basis, you’re going to fall. If you don’t have someone who holds you accountable, you’re going to fall. It’s true. And that’s why I have prayer and accountability partners in my life – I know that I need them, too. Along with prayer and Bible study, accountability is an important safeguard in my spiritual life.
Let me close with the words from Charles Colson, on this important topic of accountability:
“I urge all Christians not only to attend church services regularly but also to establish small groups of other Christians to whom they are accountable. I’ve seen this simple practice work wonders in my own life. In fact, I would never have developed real Christian maturity merely by staying home, reading religious books and attending church once a week–no more than an athlete can develop by shooting baskets alone in the driveway. We’re all parts of a larger Body, and as parts we can’t operate alone. Nor is the Body fully formed when some of its parts are not fully integrated. After I became a Christian, I was surrounded by some loving Christian brothers. I credit my early spiritual growth to that prayer group…Why is this necessary? Even if Christ lives in you, and even if you’re a committed disciple, there will be times when temptation will be nearly overpowering. We need to remember that we’re self-deluding creatures who are fully capable of rationalizing the worst sins, even as Christians. Remember the story of David and Nathan? David, a man after God’s own heart, couldn’t see his own considerable sin, so Nathan told him the story of a man’s obvious sin. David was enraged and told Nathan the man should be punished. Only then could Nathan say, “You are the man.” Because the human heart is deceitful, the accountability of a small group is indispensable.”
Pastor Chris Jordan