Transparency Is The First Step Towards Accountability

Regardless of which side of the political aisle you are on, you know that the American media has been in a frenzy. It is relentlessly debating, punching and counterpunching with the administration, with the political power players, and with each other. They shout to their listeners: "Someone must be held accountable!!!" I couldn't agree more.

Here is the thing with accountability. Very few people sign up for it. 
Everybody says they want it, but how many really have it? Webster defines the word as "subject to giving an account." Giving account conjures up all kinds of mental images, some of them good and some of them dangerous.

In Ephesians, Paul sets a framework for accountability thinking. "...and be subject to one another in the fear of Lord." (5:21) Paul clearly calls for submission on the behalf of someone to someone. Dwight Smith, a grandfather, a mentor and a theologian I personally hold in high regard says: "I am convinced, more even today then at any other time in my life, that I need both accountability and a group of men to whom I submit that accountability. "

A Barna Group telephone survey in 2013 of Christians across the United States reveals some interesting facts about the state of accountability in the church: only 5% of people say their church does anything to hold them accountable for integrating biblical beliefs and principles into their lives.

Transparency is the first step towards accountability.
I was first introduced to an accountability group in the early 2000s. I was not an alcoholic, a gambler, or a abusive spouse. However, my private sin was deep rooted and equally vile. In fact, I've grown to understand that all sin is equally repulsive before a holy God. When I took that first step and allowed someone else to see the darkness inside of me, that person was able to hold me accountable to a path towards restoration. The recovery community calls this process "sponsorship." Big brother calls this process "mentorship." The Bible calls this "discipleship." Jesus said in John 8:31-32, "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

What kind of people are we looking for when we say accountability?
People who understand God's grace. People who point back to God's Word as the authority. Consider memorizing Scripture and commit to meeting regularly with 3-4 people of the same gender. Pray for each other. Choose a leader or group member to facilitate the group each time you meet. Always keep in mind your purpose — not just to socialize but to help each other grow and live for Christ. Agree to let the members of the group hold you accountable to the commitments you make in whatever loving ways you decide upon. As a group, choose to commit together to the accountability necessary to stay the course and answer the call to become men and women who are faithful to Jesus Christ and the teaching of God's Word.

Your first step is to be transparent. Be vulnerable. Be gut wrenchingly honest. 
The truth will set you free!

Pastor Milo


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