Of all the problems in the church today, accountability is perhaps the most important we face. We live in a culture that fears and abhors any suggestion that our personal behavior, choices, and attitudes are the business of anyone else to either judge or question. We have absorbed the worldly notion that we are completely independent of others, and owe no one an explanation for our choices whatsoever. Part of this is the "rugged individualism" so inherent to Western thinking. Another factor is our current culture of relativism, that reinforces the fallacious idea that there is no objective truth, and thus nothing to answer for, as choices are just a matter of personal opinion or belief; my truth, your truth. And yet, Sacred Scripture is filled with examples of the necessity for accountability. For example:
"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." - Proverbs 27:17
We are social beings, living our faith in a social world as members of a spiritual community. It is natural and healthy that our choices are a part of that collective experience we share as disciples.
"Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him..."- Luke 17:3
While in bible college, we used a short list of questions to help us in our accountability to each other. What follows are those questions. I provide them in the hope that they might be of value to my readers personally, or in your local small group or church.
- Have I kept my conscience clear? 1 John 1:7
- Is there any unconfessed sin or disobedience in my life? 1 John 3:7-8
- Have I kept my thought life pure? 2 Corinthians 10:5
- Have I sought to grow spiritually by reading God's word daily? 1 Peter 2:2
- Have I communicated with God daily through prayer? Psalm 27:11; Mark 1:35
- Have I refrained from gossip and criticism, and have I discipline my tongue to speak for the glory of God? James 1:26
- Have I endeavored to love God with all my heart, soul, mind, strength, and my neighbor as myself? 1 Thessalonians 5:3-14; Deuteronomy 6:5
- Is there any area of my life that I have not yet surrendered fully to the will of God? Romans 12:1-2
- What positive virtue have I endeavored to add to my life this week? 2 Peter 1:5-8