tonight, well, i guess i should say this morning, i have done some research on accountability. not because i didn't know what it is but i wanted to know the significance. i have a really hard time holding my loved ones accountable. i'm just not good at it so i just decided to research it.. these are some things I've found. a bit lengthy but worth the read.
What does the Bible say on the importance of accountability?
With much temptation already in the world today, Satan is working overtime to create even more. We must have a brother or sister we can count on when we are facing temptations that threaten our spiritual lives. King David was alone the evening he was tempted into adultery by Satan. It may have appeared to be Bathsheba who tempted him (2 Samuel 11), but the Bible tells us we fight a war not of flesh but of the spirit, against powers and spiritual forces who threaten us (Ephesians 6:12).
Knowing we are in a battle against the forces of darkness, we should want as much help as we can gather around us. In Ephesians, Paul tells us that we must be equipped with all the power that God supplies to fight this battle. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13). Paul realized that even if we equip ourselves with everything God has to offer in defense of evil, we are still human and we may not always be able to resist Satan’s temptations. We know without a doubt that temptation will come.
Satan knows our weaknesses, and he knows when we are vulnerable. He knows when a married couple is fighting and perhaps feeling that someone else might understand them better. He knows when a child has been punished by his parents and might be feeling spiteful. He knows when things are not going well at work and knows how that reminds us of the bar that is on the way home. Where do we find help if we have done all we can do to fight the battle? We want to do what is right in the sight of God, yet we are weak. What do we do?
Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend's countenance.” A friend’s countenance is a look or expression of encouragement or moral support. When is the last time you had a friend call you just to ask how you were doing? When is the last time you called a friend and asked her if she needed to talk? Encouragement and moral support from a friend are sometimes the missing ingredients in fighting the battle against Satan.
The writer of Hebrews summed it up when he said, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching…” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Accountability is crucially important in the battle to overcome sin. An accountability partner can be there to encourage you, to rebuke you, to teach you, to rejoice with you, and to weep with you. Every Christian should have an accountability partner with whom he or she can pray, talk, confide, and confess.
The word "accountability" does not appear in the Bible. However, the word "accountable" is mentioned eight times in the Bible. Most of these references apply to being held accountable for not saving another person. God cares about those who are separated from Him, and He makes His children accountable for reaching out to those who are lost. If God tells you to witness to a person and you choose not to obey, then God holds you accountable for that person being separated from God (Ezekiel 3:18).
Sometimes people who are living in a way that is contrary to God's plan need someone to warn them about the consequences of their choices. The prophet Nathan obeyed God and warned King David about God's anger with David for committing adultery with Bathsheba and then having Bathsheba's husband killed (II Samuel 12). King David could have literally "killed the messenger," but he instead repented. If Nathan had remained silent and David died in his sin, God would have held Nathan accountable for David's blood.
The Bible says that as long as people are obedient to what God tells them to do, they are not held accountable for the outcome. The Bible explains this well in Ezekiel 33:8-9: "When I say to the wicked, 'O wicked man, you will surely die,' and you do not speak out to dissuade him from his ways, that wicked man will die for his sin, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man to turn from his ways and he does not do so, he will die for his sin, but you will have saved yourself."
God holds leaders accountable for the way that they lead God's people. In Ezekiel 34, the Bible uses the metaphor of a shepherd and his sheep to explain the accountability that leaders have over God's "flock." The Bible warns in James 3:1 that "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." God holds teachers and other leaders accountable for the ways in which they lead God's people.
Leaders and teachers are not the only ones who God holds accountable. According to the Bible, "the whole world [will be] held accountable to God" (Romans 3:19). Fortunately, God sent Jesus to fulfill the law because he knew that human beings were incapable of doing so themselves: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them" (Matthew 5:17).