Thursday, July 09, 2009

The other day I touched on accountability, suggesting that we as believers in Christ should hold each other accountable for living in accordance with the teachings of Christ but that we cannot hold non-believers to this same standard because they are blind to the heart of Christ until they open their own hearts to Him and diligently seek His truth.

Later that same day I was reading a book that a freind had shared with me a month or so ago and it challenged me to dig into this further and examine why I held this belief. I have always heard that we should hold each other accountable but can't say that I had ever really examined just seemed to make sense. This book challenged the accountabilty issue by pointing out that the passages in Scripture dealing with the subject deal with our personal relationship with Christ and being accountable to Him, not each other. So I grabbed my concordance and started digging in to my Bible to study.

Now the danger in using a tool like this is that we limit our search to narrowly. In looking through the verses dealing with derivatives of the word "accountable" I found truth to the statement I had read. In expanding my search to related topics I didn't find a lot during my search, but Galatians 6:1-2 says:

Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves or you yourself may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ

Notice that it says those of you who "live by the Spirit" should restore the person gently. So we are talking about those who are truly responsive to the Holy Spirit because they will bring the insight and tenderness needed to restore the one who has sinned. According to my "Bible Readers Companion", the Greek word for "restore" is a medical term used of setting a boken bone. So we are to help the broken mend, not expose them to shames by condemning them. Any confrontation must be tempered with comfort and compassion.

This scripture does indicate that we are responsible to and for each other, but we must be sure that a believer gifted with the proper insight and spirit is working with the one who has committed the sin. So we must check ourselves, our hearts and motivation before jumping in when we see a fellow believer sin. Are we acting in a spirit of restoration and grace or disgust and anger? Maybe we should bring someone else in to the situation.

I am interested in seeking out other scriptures that deal with this subject and examining it further. Please feel free to share them with me.

The next time we find ourselves ready to confront a fellow believer we should picture Jesus sitting and writing in the sand, listening to our charges; and if our relationship with Him and our motives aren't clear we should drop our stones and hit our knees in prayer instead.



At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brad, when you mention accountability, I immediately think of Promisekeepers. One of the founding principles of PK is men walking together in Christ. The foundational book by Geoff Gorsuch and Dan Schaffer titled "Brothers: Calling Men into Vital Relationships" might be a good place to start your quest.
Mark \0/

At 12:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think in many cases it is too easy for "accountability" to become "judgmental." Unfortunately, there always seem to be plenty of people willing to fill that role. There is something to be said, though, about a friend helping you overcome an area of weakness that you may be struggling with and using their help in keeping you on the straight and narrow path. This will then place that friend in the position of being tempted themselves, so, it is not a role to be taken lightly. I liked your verse from Galatians on this, Brad. But having said that, in the end, it is to God alone that we are accountable for only He is worthy of Judging us.

Santa Cruz, CA


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