In the end, we all are all only as accountable as we want to be.
A few months back I wrote a post entitled, "This Year I'm Walking To Memphis." That little missive outlined a personal exercise goal. It also declared a simple message that life is a little-by-little affair.
While that message is true, it is also only half of the message. Here is the other half: Making myself accountable on the journey will help me to complete it.
At the time I wrote the Memphis piece I had logged 61.34 miles on my Nike app (plus an additional 40 miles from January 2-20 before I solicited Nike's help). Today, according to my app's GPS-governed calculator, I have walked 530.9 miles (570.9 total). Here's the breakdown:
- January, 64.8
- February, 43.9
- March, 73.5
- April, 112
- May, 113
- June, 86.5
- July, 77.2 (to date)
Of course you don't need all that, but in some ways you do -- and so do I. Big goals, like New Year's resolutions, can be nothing more than well-intentioned hot air. Accountability for the process is essential.
All this has me thinking about accountability from a biblical perspective. I'm still searching for that verse that says, "Thou shalt be accountable." I haven't found it, but along the way I am learning a few things about the importance of staying "on the hook."
- The proverb warns me. Isolation is dangerous. Proverbs 18:1 says, "Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment." Accountability is one of God's tools to keep me connected to others.
- The "one anothers" admonish me. How can we serve one another ... pray for one another ... teach and admonish one another ... confess our sins to each other ... and bear each other's burdens without bearing our souls. The very idea of "one anothering" implies allowing others to peer into our souls from time to time. We let them do this because we know that they care -- and we need it.
- The word "steward" reminds me. Paul writes, "Moreover, it is required of stewards that they be found faithful" (1 Corinthians 4:2). The word "steward" reminds me that I am a manager of the time, talents, treasure, and task that God has assigned me. If making myself accountable now helps me hear a "Well done" from God when I answer to him, I want to be accountable.
- The gospel frees me. The beauty of the good news of Jesus is that God accepts me -- not on the basis of my performance -- but on the basis of what Jesus has done for me. That frees me to be honest in life. God loves me whether I make it to Memphis or not. At the end of the day it is His love and approval that matters, not the "two thumbs up" that I may or may not receive for my efforts.
Yes, all of us are only as accountable as we want to be. What I am discovering is that while I may not always want to be, I definitely need to be accountable. How about you?
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