May 23, 2016

Autonomy Needs Accountability

Written by Boyd Bailey

Autonomy Needs Accountability 5.23

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – May 23, 2016

Late one afternoon, after his midday rest, David got out of bed and was walking on the roof of the palace. As he looked out over the city, he noticed a woman of unusual beauty taking a bath. 2 Samuel 11:2, NLT

Leaders who rise in their responsibilities at work require more—not less accountability. When someone believes no one is watching their behavior, their behavior can quickly become corrupted. Autonomy is not an excuse for sloppy living, but an opportunity to expand service to others and to grow in grace and humility. If a person trusts themselves alone to be alone, without any moral guardrails—they are set up for pride’s fall—humility chooses to be accountable.

David talked himself into thinking he could handle autonomy without accountability. Instead of being in charge and leading the charge with his fellow soldiers—he disengaged from the action. He foolishly assumed his position and power elevated him above the need to answer to others for his actions. David forgot a fundamental lesson from his days as a shepherd—a sheep that strays away on its own is exposed to life threatening influences. He allowed his affections to chase after the lust of the flesh—instead of submitting to the Spirit. Accountability gladly depends on others.  

“For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open” (Luke 8:17).

You go from bad to worse—when you think you can conceal your sin—and then try to cover up the consequences with denial and lies. When the Holy Spirit stings your conscience with gentle conviction or someone asks you about an embarrassing action—admit you are wrong and take steps not to repeat it. Perhaps you padded your expense account, talked about someone behind their back, read an inappropriate romance novel or lied about a little thing. If so, with contrite heart confess to Christ and repent. Also, own up to your actions with another and ask their forgiveness.

To preclude the pain of embarrassing, even foolish decisions—have a predetermined plan to protect yourself from you. Start by being honest with others and yourself about the necessity of disciplined and loving accountability in your life. Give your spouse or close friend permission to ask you probing questions about how you spend your alone time—be totally honest with your answers. If some behaviors cause you to sneak around, expose your actions. You do better when others are watching. Humble wisdom invites increased accountability with increased autonomy.  

“A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12).



Heavenly Father, give me courage to invite others into my life to hold me accountable.


What concealed sin do I need to confess, repent of and place boundaries around?

Related Reading

Proverbs 6:4-11, 12:15, 19:20; Luke 10:1; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 4:13

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To preclude the pain of embarrassing decisions—have a predetermined plan to protect yourself from you. #wisdomhunters #accountability

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  1. My Thoughts: Accountability is such good wisdom. Thank you for that reminder. I pray our culture with all of its divisive hide and seek games, where our outer facade and inner reality is a huge gap, will begin to change. God change us, help us to fully face YOU, help the Light of Your life shine on us in such a way that all truth is revealed and we become a people who are straight with one another, vulnerable and accountable in our weaknesses, allowing You to be the glory of our strength. Jesus. Let it #BeSo

  2. Rodney Kent says:

    Yes, a wiser friend can advise us, but God is the only one who can forgive us a sin and cleanse us of our transgressions. Always go to God first, but a wise friend can be helpful.

  3. Gwynne says:

    Thank you Rodney. You are right, always go to God first.
    Wise friends are priceless, aren’t they?
    “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13
    We are thankful that you are a fellow wisdom hunter. May God Bless you.
    Believing and trusting,
    “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
    1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

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