By Angel Simmons ©
When we hear the word accountability, it tends to make us uncomfortable. Just like responsibility, it refers to something that we HAVE to do. Somewhere between our God-given “free will” and the fall of man, we developed a selfishness that keeps us bound to pride. It keeps us at arm’s length from people, building up walls to keep them out. It’s all a defense mechanism that detaches us from accountability. And when you live your life without it, you actually excuse yourself from “participating in relationship”. But that is NOT how we were designed to function.
The very first thing God did with man was make him accountable for something! Think about that… Genesis 2 says that God “put man in the garden to work it and take care of it.” And when God made the woman, her and man had to BECOME one flesh (now that’s some real work right there!). They became accountable to each other, and they were accountable to God to follow His instructions. I’ll come back to that…
I’m about to go somewhere, so bear with me people. Now, accountable is defined as “required or expected to justify actions or decisions; being responsible or liable for.” OK, if you have insurance, then you’re familiar with the word LIABILITY. As a driver, you’re required by law to at least have liability insurance. It protects other drivers from YOU. I was in an accident last month and guess what, the driver who hit me did NOT have insurance. Now, he has to pay the price… my deductible, my repairs, higher premiums AND fines for breaking the law. Should’ve had that insurance! Let’s go deeper and connect all of that…
In relationship, your accountability is the “INSURANCE”. It protects other people from your selfishness (also known as your fleshly desires). And when there is an expectation of your actions, you behave in a certain way. With your friends: you spend time with them, you support their dreams, and you encourage them when they need it. With your spouse: you respect their feelings, you sacrifice so they can be happy, and you invest in what keeps your marriage healthy. With your children: you are their constant motivator, you make sure they get an education, and you see to it that they never go without the basics. As a believer, your life should always be producing the fruit of the spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. So that in EVERY relationship, your accountability to God and to His people holds you responsible for what you say and do- or don’t! Neglect, Abuse, Disregard, Disrespect and Inconsideration are absolutely UNACCEPTABLE. And when you give in to your flesh and violate the “principles of accountability”, you end up paying the price. You’re left with broken relationships, left having to ask for forgiveness, left needing to earn back their trust, and left ALONE— IF you don’t do RIGHT! Adam and Eve violated God’s instructions… and the price they paid was having to leave the garden and make it without God’s divine provision.
When God created man, He gave us these specific instructions: “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” He told us what was good to eat, and what NOT to eat. Then, He gave us the consequences if we didn’t follow those instructions— the price we’d pay for not being responsible. So, we were CREATED to be accountable… for each other, for our family, for our community, and for this earth. And all of those relationships depend— on— YOU………… Make it your business to surround yourself with people who will bring out the BEST in you, let you know when you’re dead wrong, and motivate you to be GREATER.
It’s time for us to STEP UP.
January 30, 2014