Each of us is born with a sin nature. Within the heart of each man and woman there is an awareness, whether acknowledged or not, that he or she is ultimately accountable to God.
“So, then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Rom. 14:12 NIV
“The stark reality of Scripture is that every person, Christian and non-Christian, is accountable before a sovereign God (see Rom. 3:9-19) and will one day have to bow before Christ (Phil. 2:9-11). Jesus said, “From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked” (Luke 12:48b).
Many reject this declaration of Scripture by all manner of human rationalizations and bias, but their rejection cannot alter the reality of accountability.” J. Hampton Keathley III, Th.M.
Mankind has been accountable to God since the days of Adam and Eve. Their harmonious relationship with God was broken, irrevocably, when they chose to listen to Satan and disobey God. Thus began the downward spiral of broken fellowship with the loving Heavenly Father, Creator of the universe, who made us for relationship with Himself. From that day, mankind has been compelled to hide, make excuses, or try to ignore the awareness of accountability to his creator.
Our nation in modern times is plagued with a serious lack of accountability. As an example, the recent murder of an innocent 15 year old in Chicago has been blamed, once again, on the weapon ~ not the murderer. Somehow that gun just loaded itself, climbed into an innocent hand, took aim, and fired itself! Why, the person holding the gun had a multitude of excuses for this action, and the gun certainly was to blame! Such stories are commonly reported in the media today. It seems that our media ~and many in our culture ~don’t believe in personal accountability. “It’s not my fault” is the mantra of today!
What is “accountability?” A composite definition of the word ‘accountability’ is this:
“Being held responsible, willing or obligated to face a reckoning or to explain for one’s conduct; to be willing to give an account and be answerable; to disclose the results in a transparent manner.”
Our nation was founded by people who believed that freedom was worth any price, including their lives. If they’d not been responsible enough to take drastic measures to win our freedom and establish this nation, we would never have come into existence.
Viktor Frankl, neurologist, psychiatrist, author, and founder of logotherapy and one of the key figures in existential therapy, in his book Man’s Search for Meaning, recommended “that the Statue of Liberty on the East Coast (that has become a symbol of Liberty and Freedom) should be supplemented by a Statue of Responsibility on the West Coast.”
Frankl stated: “Freedom, however, is not the last word. Freedom is only part of the story and half of the truth. Freedom is but the negative aspect of the whole phenomenon whose positive aspect is responsibleness. In fact, freedom is in danger of degenerating into mere arbitrariness unless it is lived in terms of responsibleness.”
America is still the land of the free, the home of the brave. But are we enjoying our freedom with a sense of accountability? Do we value our freedom and maintain honesty, integrity, right behavior in the eyes of God? Sadly, historians will most likely look back on this era as the “Age of Irresponsibility.”
An online search reveals a multitude of definitive examples of the importance of accountability from corporations and the government to the citizenry. In other words, according to the information out there, they are expected to be accountable for their actions. But are they, in reality? Is society still expecting accountability from those in leadership positions? It seems not. And individual accountability?
On the other hand, as Christians we certainly understand that personal accountability is crucial to knowing and following the Lord Jesus Christ. Throughout the Bible, accountability was required from all who were offered the matchless gift of God’s grace. Even so, today we are accountable to God for our actions, and someday we will stand before Him for that very purpose. So let’s consider the areas of a Christian’s accountability.
CHRISTIANS MUST BE AWARE OF
1. Accountability to God and one’s fellow man:
“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to Whom we MUST give account.” Hebrews 4:13 NIV
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” Rom. 3:23 KJV
2. Accountability to those who need to hear the Good News:
“Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20a NIV
3. Accountability to our families and friends:
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind'; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Luke 10:27 NIV
“By love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13 NIV
4. Accountability to the body of Christ:
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another~and all the more as you see the Day approaching.”Hebrews 10:25 NIV
5. And, on that last day, accountability before the heavenly throne of our Lord! THIS day is coming:
“I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. If anyone’s name was not found in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Rev. 20:12b, 15 NIV
Are you behaving in a manner that demonstrates your understanding of this concept? As Christians, we must hold ourselves and our fellow believers accountable. This is a simple directive straight from God.
“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.” Proverbs 3:1-4 NIV
“Heavenly Father, make us aware of our responsibility to you. Help us to remember that we are daily accountable for our actions, and that we must guard against sin that clouds our vision and keeps us from right relationship with You. Help us to live our lives devoted to serving You and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ. Help us to lift up and support any fellow believers who are struggling in any way, and to be accountable to them as well.
In the most precious Name of Jesus, the Name above all names ~Amen.”