Jesus teaches accountability in Scripture, not to bring punishment, shame, or guilt, but to uplift grace and bring glory to the Father.
God’s grace is about honor and freedom, not bondage. Grace is unmerited and inspiring. It’s compassionate and merciful, not condemning. How can accountability be anything less than that? Too often we allow Satan to distort our view of accountability with God and others. In reality, it is the fertile soil in which God grows our character. It’s not something that we should be afraid of. It shouldn’t motivate us to hide or bury our sin, but rather come boldly to the Christ and confess what we’ve done with what He’s given us.
How have we used our mind to think? Our tongue to speak? Our hands to act? Our feet to go? Our gifts to minister? What have we done with His grace?
We must be accountable to the Lord; and the Bible takes it one step further, telling us to be accountable to other believers. We are to confess our sins to each other, encouraging and forgiving one another. Accountability should motivate us to faithfulness, inspire us to depend upon God’s Word, give us purpose and direction, and remind us of the rewards we receive from the Master…“Well done, my good and faithful servant.”
Christians have such a warped perception of accountability with God that they cringe at the thought of confessing to each other. Especially between husband and wife.
This is where secrecy creeps in. William Barclay said, “Secrecy kills the disciple or the disciple kills secrecy.” In any realm of sinful behavior, burying and hiding our sin is a death sentence. And, in our opinion, none more so than with sexual sin. Sexual sin carries a certain stigma, a certain shameful label that we try to avoid at all costs. Instead of seeking the help we desperately need, so often we entomb ourselves in our depravity hoping to somehow overcome it on our own because the shame of admitting our weaknesses seem too much to bear. But confession must be a staple in the healing process.
In this battle for sexual purity, not only do we need the mercy, grace, and power of Jesus Christ, but we also need the accountability, prayer, and encouragement of Christian brothers and sisters who have “been there.” There’s nothing more powerful in overcoming sexual sin than admitting the problem and facing it, as well as confessing the struggles that come with recovery. Secrecy only keeps us in bondage and prolongs our misunderstanding of God’s grace. It is only when we humble ourselves to bring our darkness into the light that we have the opportunity to heal.
Isn’t it time we redeemed accountability?