So, who should we be accountable to? How do we decide who gets what piece of us and how we can please everybody and do everything that we want to do and have signed up to do in this life? Well, the answer to that is that we don't need to please everybody. We should be focused on pleasing God. Through God we receive his mercy and grace which pleases us and brings us joy. Then, by us enjoying our life and being consistently accountable, it can help others in their walk to see the blessings and receive their own pleasure of having a life of accountability. Let's walk-through what Scripture says about a few places we need to be accountable in our lives. We will briefly cover the following: 1) God, 2) ourselves, 3) our spouse/family members, and 4) our church community.
Accountability To God-contrary to what many believe, God does not ask us to put him first (He asks that we put the Kingdom first and look to Him in all we do). We should strive for that, and it pleases him, but what he genuinely wants us to do is put him as the solid center in our lives. Because if we take this stance, then we will automatically put him at the forefront of our thoughts, actions, and decisions. This is how we maintain a solid foundation, and allow others to see Christ in us. Romans 14:12 tells us: "So then, each one of us will give an account to God." Now, if that is who has the final say on how we spend eternity, does it not make sense to put Him and His Will and Purpose at the center of everything we do, and do we not owe Him accountability in all things? For it is because of God that we have all things, and it is God we have to answer to.
Accountability To Ourselves-we need to be sure we are searching our own hearts for motive and goodness. We should serve others and walk in God's Way out of joy and gratitude, not duty or grumbling. WE need to examine our hearts and our minds and pay close attention to be sure that our talk matches our walk. What we do and say shows what is really important to us, and what is really important to us ends up being what/who we are accountable to. Are we walking in God's Will, allowing our hearts to be filled with His desires, and obeying Him in everything we do? Or are we allowing people, objects, and goals to be the focus of our desires, thereby linking our accountability and worth to the things of this world? We are reminded in Matthew 7:6 that our accountability shows our character: "Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces." If we are accountable to ourselves, we can be sure to remain straight on our path and not wander from God's plan for our lives. Otherwise, lack of accountability to the Almighty One, can lead to the lions of this world devouring us whole.
Accountability to Our Spouse/Family-we are told in Proverbs 27:17: "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another". This was not just meant in the sense of man alone. It is meant in the sense of partnerships and relationships. When two people come together with a godly foundation as their rock, they complement each other in a way as to make the other better and lift them up in their strengths, and support them in their weaknesses. Our spouse, children, and family members can challenge and inspire us. Through this, ideas and knowledge can be combined and sharpened, thereby benefiting both parties in the relationship. Whether it be a partner or spouse, child or family member, or even a friend or co-worker. When we look at others as a helper to us and not competition, we will become accountable to them in a way that we desire to serve them and grow them, not a way that we desire to comet with or compare ourselves to them. That is healthy accountability.
Accountability To Church Community-the church body is designed to work together, just as our feet and hands do. We are not meant to be separate entities, but instead the Bible urges that we gather in fellowship often and not be isolated from one another. There is strength in numbers, especially when those numbers are filled with Christ followers! So we must be accountable to each other in service and in working together to live out God's Purposes for each of our lives, and God's Purposes for His Kingdom. In 1 Corinthians 12:12, we are told: "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ." So when we individually lack accountability and follow-through, it also affects others throughout the body of Christ, even if we cannot see it or do not realize it. God is the only one who sees all, but He has given us instruction that we need to have accountability towards each other in order to work as one unit, thereby being able to fulfill His Works. We need to search for ways to function in communion with other believers, and this will help keep them accountable to the body of Christ as well. We are the Church, and we need to each do our part.
There are countless areas in our life where we should strive for solid accountability, but I believe if we focus on these four specific areas, it will set the stage for consistent accountability in all other facets of our lives. If we remain strong in Christ, we remain trustworthy and in servitude to ourselves, our family, and friends and do our part to make the church community work as a single body...we will experience full success is accountability!