|“God often goes to the gutter to find the recipient for His grace. He lifts him out, washes him and transforms him – making him into a child of God fit for His kingdom. That is God’s grace.” Chuck Smith
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man by Walter A Henrichsen (“Walt”)
“Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.” Hebrews 13:17
God designed the church in such a way that you have people who are willing to watch for your soul “as they that must give account”. God does this to protect you. Only two people can destroy you: you and God. Others cannot hurt you. The purpose of accountability is to protect you from yourself.
The Bible describes three types of accountability. The first calls attention to overt sin, usually regarding the negative commands and heresy. For example, in II Samuel 12, Nathan calls King David to account for his adultery and murder. In Galatians 2 Paul rebukes Peter because of false doctrine. The second regards things that are not sin but may be counter-productive to your walk with Christ. Paul’s counsel to the Corinthians illustrates this.280 The third type addresses decision making, as illustrated by Jehoshaphat and Ahab seeking counsel from the prophet.281
In the first, your accountability comes to you whether you want them to or not. Scripture commands that they confront you. In the second, your accountability comes to you because you ask them to. In the third, you go to them; they do not come to you. Remember, biblical accountability is conferred, not usurped. Those who seek to hold you accountable do you a favor. As you hold others accountable, you can never know the degree to which they allow it. Finally, accountability usually is not reciprocal and does not have to be.
God gave you accountability as an expression of His grace. You must decide the degree to which you want to appropriate that grace.
280 cf. 1 Corinthians 10, esp. vv. 23-33
Psalm 57-59 Romans 4 (New King James Version)
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Mark 11:24 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in Prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
Colossians 4:2 2Devote yourselves to Prayer, being watchful and thankful.
James 5:16 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The Prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
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