My college class motto is “Strength As One.” I believe it is more profound than we realized when we selected it. What makes our class special is a collective sense that our ability exponentially increases through our unity. Implied in our unity is an understanding that we are accountable to one another.
Romans14:11,12—For it is written: As I live, says the Lord, every knee will bow to Me, and every tongue will give praise to God. So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
From the onset of the creation of mankind, God established accountability:
The LORD God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it. And the LORD God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die." (Genesis 2:15-17)
Throughout the Bible God holds people accountable to obey Him (John 14:15); in their speech (Matthew 12:36) and for what they produce (John 15:2,5).
Jesus modeled for us what accountability looks like. In John 6:38,39 He said, “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me . . . that I should lose none of those He has given Me but should raise them up on the last day.” God held Jesus responsible to do His will and He in turn accounted for the people God gave Him. After Jesus departed, God sent the Holy Spirit to maintain that accountability. “But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you” (John 14:26).
Just as God holds us accountable, so we are answerable to each other as His family members. Perhaps the greatest Biblical example of this is Paul’s analogy in his letter to the Corinthians.
So the body is not one part but many. If the foot should say, "Because I'm not a hand, I don't belong to the body," in spite of this it still belongs to the body. And if the ear should say, "Because I'm not an eye, I don't belong to the body," in spite of this it still belongs to the body . . .So the eye cannot say to the hand, "I don't need you!" nor again the head to the feet, "I don't need you!" . . .so that there would be no division in the body, but that the members would have the same concern for each other. So if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. (1 Co. 12:14-16,21,25,26)
The best way we can relate and care for one another is through accountability. When we are not accountable three things happen:
1. We set ourselves up for sin. I remember as a teenager, an American soldier who was part of the team my Dad led in Seoul, Korea. Johnny, got involved with another woman in an illicit relationship. Instead of being responsible to the team, he went his own way and quit walking with God.
2. The body suffers. Without encouragement and love, people shrivel up like plants without water. Likewise, when one member of the body falls into sin, becomes discouraged or physically ill, it affects us all.
3. We lose the Lord’s blessing. God never intended for us to go through life alone, apart from each other. To go solo or to disdain being answerable is to veer from His plan and inevitably we suffer.
So how can we keep each other accountable? First, I remember that I am accountable to God so in my life I work hard to maintain a close friendship with Him by spending quality time daily studying the Bible and communicating with Him. Second, I find and keep true friends I call my ranger buddies. Mutually we agree to ask each other the hard questions (“How was your thought life this week?”) and communicate regularly. Third, I choose to be a friend that is vulnerable, available and honest. Without these qualities, accountability is like a car without gas.
I can’t overly emphasize how important accountability is! Don’t try to paddle across the ocean by yourself! Ask God to reveal any sin in your life that is the result of walking independent of Him. Confess and make things right—1 John 1:9. If you don’t have an accountability partner, ask God for a real friend. Seek someone you know to be faithful. Now go be blessed—strength as one!
The essence of sin is the refusal to recognize that we are accountable to God at all.—Oswald Chambers in The Moral Foundations of Life
©2008 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)