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Accountability, from Thomas Becket

The scripture is clear on our need for faithful friends who will tell us our faults with a desire to help us. One who has such friends is blessed and the one who does not is in danger.

I was quite intrigued to see this point affirmed as my sons and I read The Lives of Thomas Becket. Shortly after being elevated to the position of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Becket said to a friend:

“’This I desire, this I instruct you, that whatever men say about me, you tell me boldly and in private. And if I fail in any of my work, as I say, I enjoin you to tell me freely and confidently, but secretly. For many things may be said about me from now on which are not said of me, which to a great extent is also true of others, especially the rich – many here and there speak about them in public, but few or none to them. Likewise, also point out any transgressions that you see and judge to be so.’ And at the end of his talk he added, ‘Certainly four eyes see more circumspectly and clearly than two’ ” (Lives of Thomas Becket, 65)

Wise words.

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