In Romans 14:12 the text says, "So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God." Giving an account means that we must share what our lives amounted to. What did we do with the resources, skills, relationships and opportunities that God set before us.
If we think about accountability from this perspective, it is our ultimate act of generosity. We are sharing with God, or with people in our lives, the account of what God is up to in our world and how we have responded. This type of generosity is the deepest and most significant because we are sharing about our eternal purpose.
It is one thing to share about your favorite movie (and that can be very significant if you share lessons you learned). But it is quite another to share your account of how God is using you and providing for you.
So if accountability is such a noble thing, why is it so scarce in our daily lives? This is a complex question that requires us to dig down through many layers. As I processed it, I came up with this progression of challenges that keeps us from being actively involved in accountability:
Accountability is scarce because:
- it requires that we give up freedom
- giving up freedom requires trust
- trust only grows in relationship
- relationships take time
- our time is doled out based on our priorities
- our priorities need redeemed to be in line with God's focus
So why am I not generous with the account of my life and my actions? It starts with the fact that on most days I do not truly value the act of sharing what I know. My priorities are focused on entertainment, pleasure, accomplishment, and so on.
I am coming to realize that I will never have deep accountability relationships with others unless I begin with my priority for generosity and then build to the point where I will submit my freedom to another who loves me and wants the best for me.
Where are you in this process of accountability? Are you living with God's priorities or your own?