In 2 Corinthians 8:16-24, Paul is sending Titus to Corinth. He says, "We are taking pains to do things right, not only in the sight of men, but also in the sight of God." Pauls wishes to avoid any criticism that may come from how he is handling money within the church. He chooses to live a lifestyle that is transparent and above reproach by making sure accountability is a big part of his public and private life.
Accountability is just as important now as it was in the early church. As Christ followers, we represent Jesus to those around us. By allowing accountability in our lives, we are able to avoid criticism, false judgment, and confusion for non-believers. You really can't succeed in life by going it alone, and you can't follow Jesus effectively alone. You will not find one single example in the Bible of an effective follower of Christ who did everything alone. We are to encourage and support one another, while also holding each other accountable for any and all areas where we are not following God's instructions faithfully. We all need accountability as it is impossible to grow in your faith if you refuse to open your life up to other Christians.
The issue is that many of us are not mature enough to be vulnerable and allow others to call us out in love. We say things like, "That should be between me and God," and, "That's personal, you shouldn't be discussing that with me." These are cop-outs fueled by arrogance and ego. A mature and growing follower of Christ welcomes accountability without taking offense. And when they do, true transformation begins to take place.
Questions for Reflection:
- How can you ensure your reputation and that of Christ is not at risk by your behavior?
- What biblical instructions do you tell others they should obey, but you yourself do not practice?
- Who can you ask today to be an accountability partner?