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Accountability

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who are you accountable to?

an interesting question in Christian circles. Most often you will hear, “well, I am accountable to God.” and that is very, very true but what does that really mean?
a person that is accountable to God means they have acknowledged that God knows everything about their lives, and they understand that they will answer to God for the way that they have lived their lives. And scripture is very clear on this,
Romans 14:10–12 ESV
10 Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; 11 for it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” 12 So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.
So when we answer the question on who we are accountable, we are right to say God the Father. we will give account of our lives to Him. Right?
....... where does this lead a person or how does that change someone when they know they are truly accountable to God?
If we live truly accountable to God, then it goes to say that we are living our lives completely open and transparent to Him, humbled because of the truth of sin and the power of the cross.
open and transparent towards God because like Hebrews says, God sees it all anyway, so we live in light of scripture.
Us being open to Him with everything in our lives is doing our part in our relationship with Him.
Hebrews 4:13 ESV
13 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.
this truth changes the way we live. If we believe it, it has to. maybe we used to lie.....but can we really lie to another when we know we are accountable to God? when our hearts are revealed before Him? We cannot hide anything. So we surrender........
So, we will tell Him everything. even the deepest, darkest secrets of the heart. the thing we would not dare tell another soul..... We let God know and only God...
but wait.
there is a problem.
question..... is loving God and loving people something that can be separated?
the bible says things like....
John 15:17 ESV
17 These things I command you, so that you will love one another.
and
Romans 12:10 ESV
10 Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.
Love? you mean loving others has something to do with accountability and my relationship with God? what does loving others have to do with it?
EVERYTHING
let me ask you this question.
How do you know someone loves you? how do you know..... think of someone that does… what do they do to you? how do they treat you? how is it different from others?
Romans 14:13 ESV
13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother.
Does a friend that cares for you pass judgement on you?
no. they don’t.
do they criticize you and gossip about you?
no.
but do they speak truth in love to you?
Ephesians 4:15 ESV
15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ,
and Eph. 4:25 says
Ephesians 4:25 ESV
25 Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another.
speaking truth without love can be cutting and hurtful, but truth in love? it is for the best of the listener.
does the person who loves you, forgive you when you mess up?
Colossians 3:13 ESV
13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.
this implies that a Christian friend is going through the hard times with you, even going through hurt with each other but extending forgiveness towards the other.
hard times aren’t fun. many people run from the hard times. they just aren’t invested enough or they don’t have the capacity to love through it. Maybe in their lives, God hasn’t gone through it with them. maybe they ran from God with times got tough for them. maybe they found something else to trust to get them through it.
hard times are hard. that is why the word is used “bearing with one another” the word bearing is the idea of holding up weight, supporting the load..... it can get heavy! it can also imply to endure with another. to make it to the other side with them.
think about who has gone any distance with you, through the good times and the bad. those are the ones that are modeling this in life. in their lives.
and we see it here..... as the ultimate word in Gal. 6.
Galatians 6:2 ESV
2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
to fulfill the law of Christ. what Christian would not want to do this?
Well, what does this take?
to love, to forgive, to endure with..... it takes relationship. and relationship that is more than just light, easy, talk about the game or weather.
it takes a closeness. it takes time. time with each other. and time that is intentional about opening up about life. this sometimes goes against everything in us.
we have to know each other...... so we have to know who the other is through being vulnerable and open as with our Lord. others don’t know everything about us like the Lord does. so we have to talk about our lives with them.
and this, can be the scary part, right?
we might hear in our minds, if I open up, they will not accept me,
they will not like me
they will reject me
they will laugh at me
they won’t understand
what if they use it against me
we sometimes hear this stuff in our heads that causes us not to open up. and in turn it causes us to stay distance, to never get close...... to be disconnected. It might not be that we want to be distant but that is the consequence of not being vulnerable.
God has called us to a walk that involves love. that means we have been called to get close, as a community that needs each other to survive. a community that learns from each other, that leans on each other, and that does not give judgement, but grace. this is the community of Christ followers. this is what we have been called to.
accountability looks like this. people knowing each other, struggling with the realness of life together, not isolated.
you know the events that could be avoided if we were in each others lives?
I often think of David’s situation with Bathsheba.
if only David had accountability before he fell?
We need each other. and to be there for each other, we need our great God.
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