August 6, 2009

Autonomy With Accountability

Written by Boyd Bailey

Autonomy With Accountability… “A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest—and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.” Proverbs 24:33-34

Autonomy with accountability leads to prosperity. Autonomy without accountability leads to poverty. It may be financial despair or it may mean leanness of the soul. None of us does our best by ourselves. We all need the encouragement from community and the hard questions from those who know us well. Accountability applied to the heart leads to lessons learned. You observe in others good habits that help you be successful.

How are you accountable when you travel with your work? Do you ask another brother or sister in the Lord to hold you to His standards? Do you stay in homes when possible to deepen relationships and to protect you from yourself? Autonomy is a trust that requires wise and prudent stewardship. If you abuse it there is a good chance you will lose it. Just as Jesus sent His disciples out in pairs consider partners who work close with you. “After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two” (Luke 10:1a).

Transparency leads to trust. It is at the point of authenticity and openness that our vulnerability gives others permission to be honest with their struggles and temptations. It’s when we think we have everything under control that we are positioned to lose control. Healthy control only comes by submitting to someone, so we don’t make a series of dumb decisions that spin things out of control. Little compromises lead to collapse.

Most importantly stay accountable to Almighty God. He gave you intelligence, insights and intimacy with Him. Fear of the Lord is a good reminder that no one is really autonomous under the shelter of the Most High. The shadow of your Savior follows you wherever you go, you cannot hide from God. We are all accountable to Jesus. “Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Hebrews 4:13). Do I steward my autonomy as a gift from God? Is my accountability authentic and effective?

Related Readings: 2 Samuel 11:2; Proverbs 6:4-11; Luke 8:17; 1 Corinthians 4:5

Transformational Living
What did I learn from the Lord in today’s Bible reading?

How will I respond?

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