“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” – James 5:16 (ESV)
As we go a bit deeper into the topic of Accountability, lets first revisit what it looks like. By definition the word Accountability means, responsibility to someone or for some activity. This could mean you being accountable for your wife or husband, children, friends and even neighbors. Accountability does not have a stop sign attached to the act. It’s simply a duty of the righteous to demonstrate the characteristics of Christ. Yes, this is a Christ-like act. With almost every parable Jesus told and even the people he met and witnessed to along the way, he displayed Accountability through revealing their sins to them. In the book of 1 Corinthians 16:14 (ESV) it says, “Let all that you do be done in love”, and we know that Love provides, protects and corrects. So, if Accountability is Protecting you from making bad decisions by Correcting you…it’s easy to say that Accountability is an act of Love. But, there is also a way that we should hold one another accountable, and here is an example.
There was a young man who loved the Lord with all his heart, mind and soul, but couldn’t seem to get breaks in life. He understood in Matthew 5:45 (ESV) when it says, “…For He (God) makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” so he became content with what life was bringing his way. He knew he was of the “just” (righteous) but would often times question the Lord concerning His will and purpose for his life. Many of his friends were Christians and were very close to him and they noticed the changes in his personality and began to comfort him, or at least that’s what they thought they were doing. They began to tell him about all the good things in their lives that God was doing for them and although their intent was good, the way it was presented…it discouraged him even more. In the bible when Jesus would speak to people who were of affliction or bound by something, he didn’t bring up what He had done, but he informed them of what God would do for them specifically. Jesus came to their level of emotion to relate with them on an emotional level and through Wisdom His approach of Accountability always worked. Scripture says even the rich young ruler walked away filled with sorrow, but this is not a sign of defeat. If you noticed, in order to feel something on the inside (sorrow) something had to have been planted…seed.
When “encouraging” one another, understand your position in the entire situation. If you are in a better place than someone, understand they need HOPE first. They need to know what God will and can do for them. Many times when sharing YOUR “blessings” with a struggling soul, it makes them more envious of you than receptive to what you are sharing with them. ALWAYS use SCRIPTURE and even in this, use WISDOM. “We can all talk down from the top of the mountain, but someone helped us get there…now its time to bring someone else up”. This means, instead of yelling down telling them they can make it…extend your hand so they can feel your touch and help them up. The way you communicate Accountability, is key. There is no greater love than the love Christ provides for His people. I challenge you today, to ask God to reveal to you “areas” where you need to change and improve, but allow Him the lead in the restoring process. For our help is in the Lord!