Column: Accountability saves lives, attributes to growth

Published 11:15 am Wednesday, August 16, 2023

By Pastor Jason Green | Mineral Springs Baptist Church

Accountability is a difficult topic. We say we want it, but we really don’t. Some will go so far as to say they need it in their lives. That’s not a lie – we all do, but to say we want it is a lie. Because when we submit to accountability, people we love have to tell us the truth. Even though scripture tells us the truth shall set us free, no one wants to be told they are wrong. We all will admit our imperfections to a certain extent, until someone has to point out one we missed. We have to have accountability though, because life is far too complicated and evil far too prevalent for only our eyes and hearts to keep us in line. Accountability is a recipe for disaster if we aren’t careful. If accountability is accepted from those who are wise and mature spiritually, it is something that can lead to repentance and restoration. If we hand accountability over to someone who is neither wise or spiritually mature, it can lead to resentment and chaos.

Case in point, the story of David and Nathan found in 2 Samuel reveals this. Davis had slept with another man’s wife, got her pregnant and had her husband, a fierce warrior, murdered by setting him at the battle front during a conflict, then withdrawing his soldiers as the enemy attacked. David got himself into a sinful spiral and he, like us, was struggling for direction. He knew he was wrong, but he was the king. He had the ability to admit he was wrong and do the necessary things to set things are right as they could be. However, he also had the power as king to cover up and ignore. That’s what he chose. Human nature is to follow the path of least resistance, that’s what David, who is called by scripture “a man after God’s own heart” chose. He covered up. He was miserable.

Enter accountability. A relationship with Nathan allowed an open door to restore David. God sent Nathan (that’s an important phrase) to David to bring accountability. Nathan told a story that enraged David. Someone was done wrong, and David was ready to kill him for it. Someone had stolen, someone had murdered, and David was raging because of it. Then Nathan did something many of us are afraid to do. He, in courage and obedience, told David the truth. The man in the story was David. David was the hypocrite, the adulterer, the murderer, the failed warrior king.

David could have had Nathan killed. But here’s the part that validates his designation as a man after God’s own heart. He was convicted, moved by that conviction to repentance, and went about the business of, as best he could, making things right. His heart was broken, restored, reconciled to God, and moved to improve. That’s what accountability can accomplish, when we allow the right kind of people into our lives as partners in accountability. It won’t always have to be us being held accountable in these partnerships, we will have to hold accountable, too. Scripture tells us iron sharpens iron. We have to be in the same yoke with someone willing to tell us spiritual truth from God’s perspective, not someone who just throws frivolous opinions out to see what sticks. We all need leadership. We all need guidance, we all need accountability. It’s not just a game changer, it’s a life saver.