When we look at the world there is plenty to be discouraged about. It seems as though our culture is becoming increasingly godless. Values that God teaches are noble and good the world calls bigoted and antiquated. As believers, we are called to faithfulness to God’s commands regardless of the culture surrounding us. To succeed, there must be safeguards in place to catch you when you fall. One key safeguard to insure faithfulness is accountability.
Merriam-Webster defines accountability as “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions.”
When we look at Scripture we see example after example of accountability in practice. In Hebrews 10:24-25 Paul writes, “And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.”
Jesus spent much of his time in ministry with several of the disciples. This wasn’t just because he enjoyed spending time with them but because he wanted to disciple these men. That discipleship brought about much-needed accountability.
In Luke 9 the disciples were arguing about which one of them was the greatest. Jesus had to intervene and remind them that they were missing the point: whoever is the least and most humble is the greatest.
Again in Mark 8:31-33, “And He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke this word openly. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him. But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, “Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.’” Peter was trying to talk Jesus out of submitting to what God had planned. Jesus was able to correct Peter.
As you can see, Jesus wasn’t afraid to stir up his disciples toward good works, even if it meant correcting them. Jesus was setting his disciples up for a life of continued faithfulness.
Whether we realize it or not, we’re surrounded by various forms of accountability each day. There are laws, governmental and private agencies, computer programs, and a litany of other resources all aimed at bringing accountability to our lives.
The question is, do we have accountability that is aimed at stirring up biblical obedience to God’s commands?
For this to happen, we have to be willing to listen to and heed counsel that oftentimes contradicts our thoughts or actions. A fear of mine is that one day I’ll be surrounded by counselors who are what the world calls “yes men.” Men who say "yes" to you even when you’re wrong.
While we should surround ourselves with those who are of a like mind, that doesn’t mean we will agree on everything. I don’t even agree with my wife on everything, so why do we expect to agree with each other on various issues? We’re all human, with our own unique experiences and viewpoints. While we all should base our views on what God’s word says, we shouldn’t expect to be in constant agreeance.
As you strive towards obedience to God’s commands be sure to set yourself up for continued faithfulness through accountability. Whether it be your spouse, close friend, or family member, we all desperately need someone in our lives to provide a constantly biblical viewpoint to our various circumstances. Proverbs 11:14 says “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”