Friday, March 3, 2017

A-countability Partner

This title is a paraphrase of a wonderful book about Rufus, the schnauzer, “The Dog Who Talked with God.” I believe this because I believe that God gave us dogs as special companions on earth for practical, emotional and spiritual reasons. You might say dogs don’t have spirit. I am not so sure about that. One of my favorite Bible teachers, James MacDonald, once said tongue in cheek "I think there will be dogs in heaven, but not cats." I think he meant it.

The only time the Bible addresses dogs is to say, “As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly” (Proverbs 26:11).  That is a hard verse, however, it applies to us all because we are all sinners. We will always sin, even though believers are saved by grace, not works. I think that dog is reminding us of our folly to live by our own devices.

Rufus the dog helped out a widowed woman dealing with the death of her husband. Rufus would listen to her master intently and somehow give answers, which seemed to be from God to guide her. I don’t know about you but our Schnauzer, Misty, clearly had this gift as well. She would listen intently. She never interrupted me. She always had time for me. She never complained about my need to walk, except when it was raining. Come to think about it, she never argued or disagreed with me what a great communicator! She stayed close sitting with me in my chair or even sleeping with me. If you must know, my wife and I sleep in separate beds, we both snore. But Misty slept with me. As she grew into her 80s in dog years, she became ill from Lyme Disease, heart disease and cancer. She began to have pain, so she moved closer to me until she slept on the pillow next to my head.  This is hard to write without tears falling, so I am taking a break. Suffice it to say, Misty was the perfect companion.

God says we are not meant to live alone. He made man a helpmate- woman. Now don’t get all antsy on me, ladies. There is much more in Scripture on the encouraging, equal, fulfilling relationships that a man and a woman are to have in marriage.  God wants us to have a brother or sister if you are a woman reading this. Some call this person a mentor, accountability partner or confidant. I have made a list with all Cs to talk about the characteristics of “a-countabilty” partner.  We need them. A song writer-singer with great skills, who I happen to dislike for antithetical spiritual and political reasons, Barbara Striesand, once wrote a popularized song “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” She got the people part right but for the wrong reason. I have come to believe that there is no such thing as “luck.” God controls all and is sovereign over all. There is nothing that He does not know about, and He allows what He wills. So on with “Countability” partners.

Communicators- they will be better than Rufus as communicators in their listening, committed and compassionate confrontational skills.
Confide-Confidential- we can speak with them about everything without fear of breach of confidence.
Companion-  someone who accompanies us like a mate is to do, staying as a close friend. Proverbs 18:24 say there is a friend who stays closer than a brother” which I believe is talking about Jesus Christ and this friend.
Constant- or continually with us is a word of commitment. It is saying that this person is available 24/7, accessible. By the way, this means answering emails too.
Capable-of stepping in and helping with any task as called. This might mean holding up the walls of a shed as you construct it or just listening to my story without interruption.
Comfortable- with my idiosyncrasies or habits in a way as not to be bothered or irritated by them. I think most people are disqualified with this one if not before.
Careful or Caring- is the type of person who is full of care when giving assistance in any circumstance where it is beyond my own.
Committed- is like joining the Army, you are in it for the duration. No coward here.
Cheerful- is a trait that God love. He loves a cheerful giver and tells us that a cheerful heart is good medicine and brings joy and continual feasting .
Charismatic-in personality means that they attract and are encouraging and uplifting to be around most of the time, if not always.
Competent- is a character that is able to help often because of an attitude of serving.
Confident- goes with competent. This friend places their confidence in Christ from who comes the anchor of belief and hope of self-assurance.
Conflagration-is a word that brings war or firestorm to mind. A friend in need is a friend indeed to stand with you in extreme trial or torment of illness, tragedy or death.
Community-Church- Our friend is a member of the Body of Christ and understands that we are to build it up and edify it as our Rock. It will not fail.
Cup- of cold water or wine offered in exhaustion, hospitality or to calm nerves or stomach in times of trouble. This is the servant of the Lord.

I suspect that there are a few more C- words we could find. But suffice it to say, the “Countability” partner or friend is in it for the long haul through thick or thin. Do you have such a person in your life? Jesus Christ is such a friend who will never leave you or forsake you as His love endures forever. But like the little boy having trouble sleeping because of the gremlins in the closet or under the bed, sometimes we need a Jesus with skin on.

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts.