Some people don’t worry about accountability. If they want to do something, they do it. If they don’t, they don’t do it. It’s as simple as that.

But the Bible gives us a different perspective, as this passage shows.

“For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. For it is written: “AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME, AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL CONFESS TO GOD.” So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Rom 14:10-12)

This is something worth thinking about. If we voluntarily hold ourselves accountable to God, and ask Him to show us how He feels about what we are contemplating, we can save ourselves a lot of grief. One way to find out what God considers sinful is to read the Bible, especially the New Testament. Jesus stated that we would be judged by the words that He has spoken. Those words are recorded in the New Testament.

But the Bible also teaches another level of accountability. In our church, we are having our biannual communion service [known as the Eucharist to some]. It is our practice to have a separate service before communion that we call counsel meeting. During this service every member who is planning to take communion the next Sunday will give a public testimony of his personal status before God. This may include confession of sin, testimony of victory, joy for the goodness of God; pretty well anything you feel led to share.

There are no Bible passages that tell us that this is how we should do. But passages like Matthew 18:15 – 20, etc., make it clear that we are accountable to fellow Christians. Our counsel service is one way that we have chosen to do this. We give public testimonies since we do not believe that we are accountable to church leaders alone, but to the entire congregation.

However, this opens up an area that most Christians would like to ignore; their responsibility for their brother and sister. Not only am I accountable to the brotherhood I am part of, but each of them is also accountable to me. For this to work, each of us must be willing to go to a brother or sister that we see is struggling and offer our help. Jesus makes it even stronger than that in this passage:

Take heed to yourselves. If your brother sins against you, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. (Luk 17:3)

Accountability is serious. It helps us to follow God and be ready to meet Him. It also helps us to help those around us in the church to be ready. Accountability works two ways.

About Lester Bauman

Free lance writer and editor. Author of a dozen books, husband of one wife, father of six, grandpa of ten.
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