What is accountability?
“So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God…” (Romans 14:12)
When you behave in a personally accountable way, you take full responsibility for your own tasks and their outcomes…good or bad…
Accountability is a lot easier to talk about than it is to practice; people avoid accountability for various reasons, including pride, ignorance, fear, and self-reliance. Think about it…how often do we analyze our mistakes unless we are held accountable for them? It’s much easier to just ignore what we are doing wrong…unless of course there is the possibility of being held liable for it. We all love the freedom that we have been blessed with; however with our wonderful rights come important responsibilities. And as Christians we are accountable to God and others for the path we take in life, and we should accept this responsibility as a gift. Not only does it provide us with a system of checks and balances for our own actions, it also gives us the opportunity to share our lives with others and encourage them.
“And no creature is hidden from His sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.” (Hebrews 4:13)
We often have this amazing ability to mess up sometimes; thankfully God has given us His presence to help us, but He has also given us each other.
Accountability allows us to be answerable to one another and enables us to share our lives with each other in a deep, reflective way so that it protects us from isolation, pride, temptation and weakness. True accountability involves letting another person into the interior of our lives, and submitting ourselves in an atmosphere of trust when we are weak and struggling, growing and learning, or need prayer and encouragement. We all have “stuff” in our lives that needs encouragement and conviction, and God brings people onto our lives to walk alongside us, to mentor and guide us. To hold ourselves answerable to others is to trust their judgment and to believe that they are devoted to the same truths and values we are, because we really do need each other more than we like to admit!
“Let us think about each other and help each other to show love and do good deeds.” (Hebrews 10:24)
Accountability requires mutual respect; and God’s word tells us that we have an obligation to hold each other responsible for our actions. We need relationships with others to maintain our spiritual health and to help them maintain theirs. Holding others accountable is about helping them reach their goals, and building character, patience, and dependence on God’s grace. It is our responsibility to hold others accountable for their actions especially when we observe someone who is acting in a way that doesn't reflect God’s will. It’s important for us to remember that God’s plan is for us to lovingly confront each other with their best interest in mind.
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another.” (Hebrews 10:25)
Our attitudes toward accountability eventually reflect our attitude toward our accountability to God and others. Therefore we need to hold on to our responsibility to give an answer for what we do, and understand where we need help or where we can help others reach our/their full potential. Then we will become more aware of our life’s purpose that God has unfolded before us…to grow and produce Godly character and fruit in unity with each other.