“So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)
People fall off ladders more often when someone is holding the ladder steady for them. This seemingly insignificant statistic comes form a study made in Great Britain. (I heard this from newscaster, Paul Harvey, so it must be true!) It is assumed that the one holding the ladder is not actually to blame; but, rather, it is simply that his presence seems to give the ladder climber a false security. Surely, he (or she) cannot possibly fall with someone standing directly below, holding the ladder steady.
This same phenomenon can be seen in life, in general; and we Christians are by no means exempt. One may grow so complacent with others around propping him or her up that in a buoyant feeling of confidence, he or she can become less concerned about making false steps. Accountability is a good thing, but it can never take the place of personal responsibility. Pastors, family members, friends, and mentors can all be wonderful, steadying influences in our lives, but not if their well-meaning help causes us to lose our own sense of balance. In the final analysis, as the old saying goes, “Every tub’s got to sit on its own bottom!”
This is why it is good to remind ourselves often of what the Psalmist said:“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psl.118:8).