Tuesday April 26, 2011
Accountability is a concept that we wrestle with our whole life. We first are confronted with it in our families. When our parents tell us to pick up our toys, we are held accountable for whether or not we pick up our toys. As we grow older we are told to carry out the trash or clean our rooms and are held accountable for whether or not we accomplish the tasks. When we go to school we are given an assignment and are held accountable for turning in that assignment. When we go to work, we are held accountable by our employer for doing what we are called on to do. When we have children, we are accountable to the society to teach them right from wrong. We are accountable to our government to follow the rules of the land. Accountability is all around us. Accountability is with us all of our lives.
Accountability helps us keep in line. There are three kinds of accountability. There is external accountability where someone from the outside is holding us accountable for whatever we have been charged with to do. The second type of accountability is self accountability where we hold ourselves accountable for the task at hand. This is much healthier than the first type because when no one is looking I am going to do my best. When someone from the outside is holding me accountable I will perform my best only when I am being observed. The third type is God’s accountability where we will one day stand before Him and have to give an account of what we have done here on this earth. That one should be the most motivating for us to do our best but unfortunately it often is lost in our daily actions.
I was reading in Ezra this morning and came across this accountability in action. Ezra was in charge of rebuilding the temple that had been torn down over the years. Once the temple was rebuilt he was given the task of bringing back the articles that were taken from the temple. He assigned a group of priests and Levites for the task of bringing them back. After giving them the articles he said to them, “Guard them carefully until you weigh them out in the chambers of the house of the lord in Jerusalem before the leading priests and the Levites and the family heads of Israel.” (Ezra 8:29). Ezra was making the pastors of the day accountable for completing the task they had started. As you read on you see that when the priests and Levites came into the temple, they were called upon to bring the articles and account for everything they had brought. Accountability. It’s with us all our lives.
On this journey the sooner be begin to hold ourselves accountable, and understand God’s holding us accountable for what we do, the more fulfilling the journey becomes. We begin to do things for His glory and not our own.