October 30, 2011

Effective Accountability

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 30, 2011

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
Proverbs 27:17

Accountability is essential for the follower of Jesus Christ. We are accountable to God and man. Accountability comes in many forms, but the results are the same. The outcomes of accountability are integrity to our commitments and follow through in God’s will for our lives. We all do better when others are watching.

The details of your life may be blurry to most. But, when you surround yourself with trusted advisers, by faith you give them the reading glasses to your heart and soul. They see and understand your motives—the good and the bad reasons why you do what you do. Unencumbered, you share with them your struggles, sins, and fears.

Accountability is a safe and trusting environment. Through it you slow down and take the time to allow the hard questions—questions that deal with your time in God’s Word, your thought life, your financial health, your marriage, your work, and your time, to name a few. Nothing is off limits or sacred to the truly accountable. Accountability is most effective when you sincerely submit to others. It’s no good if you limit your accountability to individual silos, because you can hide behind these linear relationships.

It is when you invite collaboration and a small group perspective that you open yourself up to a 360-degree evaluation. It is easier to fool the one than the whole. Find a small group of four or five with whom you can grow old together—people who can smell you blowing smoke miles away when it is only a small cloud on the horizon. They can read you because they really know you.

They know your tendency to drink too much, to blow up in a fit of rage, or to take your wife for granted. They know how your unguarded strength can become your greatest weakness. They help you keep these pitfalls in check, but they also affirm your progress and success. Accountability is as much a positive reinforcement as it is a negative warning or rebuke. Ultimately, true accountability partners point you to God.

God is the standard. His Word holds the rules of the game. When an issue is under debate, biblical principles veto anything that smells of foolishness. Submission and obedience to God is the foundation and the goal of accountability. He is still there when no one is watching. He understands the motives of our hearts when we ourselves are confused.

Fear of God is good and effective accountability. What you say and do does matter. It matters for today and it matters for eternity. Your respect and love for God becomes so strong that you want to do His will no matter what. Your desire to grow in His character is what drives your life. This type of God-conscious living grows your accountability over time. You discover God’s expectations on your life that you never knew existed.

And, you become freed up to know that in some areas you have imposed limits on your life that God never intended. You have limited yourself with self-imposed restraints that are not a part of God’s accountability. Effective accountability with God requires time and transparency. Seek His face and ask what needs to change in your life. Let others know what God is teaching you and ask for their mutual accountability. Submit to God, caring friends and your spouse. Accountability leads to freedom. Be set free!

Taken from Dose 72 in the 90-day devotional book, Infusion.

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  1. Terrific post. Thank you!

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