So, this post has been lying in my drafts for the last 5 months (Lord forgive me). I think that part of the reason why I never got round to finishing it is because this is a difficult subject to discuss, one that I am still learning about. I also feel like this is an area that is often misunderstood, its actually been made to look like a bad thing.
Let’s look at the meaning of this word before we delve deeper…..To be accountable means that one has an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions (Merriam-Webster Dictionary)
Accountability is often discussed with transparency and consequences. This typically involves keeping people and organizations accountable by making their actions visible and having consequences when those actions are not acceptable.
Which means that to be accountable you have to be responsible for what you do and be able to give a satisfactory reason for it, or the degree to which this happens, often to another person
Who Should We Be Accountable to?
Accountability is important because it keeps us in check. Can you imagine how the world would be like if everyone did as they pleased and didn’t have to be held responsible for their actions? It’d be total chaos.
So if in the world we are expected to be held accountable for our actions, why would we expect that as Christians we shouldn’t?
As Christians, we are expected to be accountable to:
- One Another
I’m reminded Matthew 5-18:15-17 that talks about whenever a brother or sister sins another, should they fail to settle it amongst themselves, then the one who has not been forgiven can call two or three witnesses to listen to the matter and stand as witnesses.
We are also instructed to confess our sins to each other and pray for each other so that we may be healed. (James 5:16). This clearly tells that God did
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17
A part of accountability also means going to church (Hebrews 10:25 – not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.)
2. We are accountable to our spiritual authorities
This one is not going to be popular but yes, God expects us to be accountable to our pastors
Hebrews 13:17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.
3. We are also accountable to the all the authority that God has placed in our workplaces, countries etc.
Romans 13:1-2 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 2 Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.
4. Children are required to be accountable to their parents
Ephesians 6:1-3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
The Kingdom of God is a kingdom of order, and one way that He ensures that this order is maintained is by having a chain of command by which we can be held to account. Because a lack of accountability means that we can do whatever we please, a principle that is ungodly.
Lastly, we are all accountable to God.
So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.
In case you have been struggling with the concept of accountability, please take it to God and ask Him to help you submit to authority and agree to be held accountable, it will save you from a lot.