March 17, 2009

The Aftermath of Accountability

Awhile back I published a post on accountability & challenged us to return to it, even though it's difficult & messy. A few people asked me to think further on the issue & follow up with another post. So here goes! Today I was thinking about a very familiar story from the beginning of the Bible that illustrates how our response to being held accountable has the power to direct the course of our lives.

In the story of Cain & Abel, Cain brings an unacceptable sacrifice to God. He brings cheap worship. Abel meanwhile brings the absolute best offering that he can. His worship was truly sacrificial. God calls Cain out about this. God rejects Cain's offering because it's obvious that Cain is simply "going through the motions". At this point, God recognizes that Cain isn't taking this moment of accountability very well. God warns him & says, "sin is crouching at the door." At this point God has shifted gears from the issue of an empty offering to the issue of how Cain will choose to respond to being held accountable for his actions. Cain of course disregarded the warning.

After killing his brother, Cain was basically exiled, forced to wander the world. The rest of Cain's life was determined by his response to being held accountable for his actions. When we are holding one another accountable we must recognize this. Very rarely does someone embrace accountability. Even when we invite it, it's hard to embrace. However, how we respond to that accountability has the power to forever alter the course of our lives.

How have you seen this played out in your life? How have you seen it played out in relationships where you had to hold someone else accountable? How can we protect one another from making poor decisions in the aftermath of accountability.

1 comment:

Pastor Waldo said...

I think sometimes when we mention accountability, we often think criticism. But we have to think of accountability as to what are God's standards. How am I being accountable to God, His people (church), and to those we are called to reach.

Accountability does have criticism, but it also has responsibiliy. We need to use and accept it wisely.