Men of Accountability
I remember when Ethan was six years old, my oldest, and Lee
was three and a half. One day I was walking from the
kitchen into the den and the two boys were in the den
playing church. Have you ever watched your children play
church, or did you do it as a child? I used to do it all
the time. I was Mom's little preacher.
God is in the process of raising up men to make his church
a better church for the generation ahead than it is right
now. He is always looking for Men of Accountability.
Three basic foundation stone:
1. All men are
accountable to God.
Christians believe that every human being, male and female,
will stand before their Creator and give an account for how
they have lived. There are so many verses that verify this,
Romans 14:12, "So then, each of us will give an account of
himself to God." Jesus said in Matthew 12:36, "But I tell
you that men will have to give an account on the day of
judgment for every careless word they have spoken." Hebrews
4:13, "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight.
Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of
him to whom we must give account."
We may want to deny those realities, but the Bible clearly
states we will all give an account of our lives before God.
And so it's imperative that we live every day making
preparation for that moment.
2. Most men don't
have a real plan for developing a healthy, vibrant, vital,
Many men are religious, but precious few are spiritual. Men
have settled for a mediocrity in their spiritual lives that
we wouldn't stand for in other parts of our lives. Men are
wired so that we set goals and we chase those goals and we
accomplish those things.
If we want financial security, we sit there and determine
how much we need to work and how much we need to save and
how we need to invest. If we want to get fit, we'll sit
there and determine what we need to do and we'll exercise
and exercise. A lot of men like to restore old cars and
they'll work on it every afternoon and every evening. But
when we stand before God, he's not going to ask about our
net worth, and he's not going to ask about our percentage
of body fat. He's not going to ask about the condition of
our Model T. He is going to ask how intently we followed
the model of Jesus Christ.
Romans 8:29 gives us our purpose, "For those whom he
foreknew he predestined to be conformed to the image of his
Son." And the real question in life is how are you doing
fellows on conforming to the image of Jesus Christ?
3. Every man needs to discover the beauty and the benefits
of Biblical accountability. By and large, short of the
judgment, men don't have to answer to anybody anymore. We
will often openly state that we want to get to the position
in life where we don't have to answer to anybody. But the
problem is, left to our own direction and our own devices,
we deceive ourselves. Scripture is quick to tell us that
we're not as smart as we think we are.
Jeremiah, the prophet, said "The heart is deceitful above
all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?"
(Jeremiah 17:9) Like the man who put a quarter into the
weight machine and stood on the scale and it gave him a
little card, and he turned to his wife and said, "Look,
honey, this card says that I'm intelligent, handsome, and
witty." She looked at the card and said, "Yeah, and it got
your weight wrong, too." A man's heart will lie to him.
Left alone, it will tell him that things are all right when
they're not that he's spiritually healthy, when in fact,
he's spiritually sick. The Bible speaks with disdain about
the attitude, "I answer to nobody and I chart my own course
and I take care of myself." And instead, Scripture urges us
to practice Biblical accountability among brethren. "Each
of you should look not only to your own interests, but also
to the interests of others." (Philippians 2:4) "Brothers,
if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should
restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be
tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you
fulfill the law of Christ." (Galatians 6:1-2) "The kisses
of an enemy may be profuse, but faithful are the wounds of
a friend." (Proverbs 27:6) That's a deep and rich
Then one that really hits the nail on the head, James 5:16,
one of the least obeyed verses in all Scripture, "Therefore
confess your sins one to another and pray for each other so
that you may be healed." People, we can't get around it,
the Bible teaches that we pour our lives into each other,
and that as God's children, we protect and we guard one
another. Accountability is the missing link that's keeping
most men from achieving their full potential in Jesus
Christ and most of us do not know what it is. I ran across
a definition that wrote in his wonderful little book
called,. He said, "It means to be regularly answerable for
the key areas of our lives to qualified people." (Patrick
Morley Man in the Mirror) To be regularly answerable, to
have periodic times where there's a check-up, key areas of
your life, social, physical, emotional, spiritual to
Accountability is deeper than fellowship. Accountability
gives somebody permission to ask the hard questions and to
help us stay on course.
Do you remember King David in the Old Testament? His
courage and his integrity when he was in the company of his
mighty men; when he was in their presence he was straight
as an arrow, he wouldn't even lift his hand against God's
anointed and kill King Saul though Saul was hunting him
down like a dog. But when he sent his mighty men off to
war, and David stayed home by himself, that's when he got
into trouble. That's when he yielded to sin and even
betrayed the trust of one of his covenant brothers.
We need men who love the Lord, who love us, who want us to
reach the goal of being Christ like and who will recognize
the need for accountability in their lives as well. Men who
believe "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens
another." (Proverbs 27:17) Who's sharpening you? Who's
sharpening you right now, to reach your full potential in
Why don't we engage in biblical accountability?
Why don't we share our lives with just a precious few
people the way Scripture admonishes us to in the verses we
look at? Let me give you two or three reasons why we tend
not to. It's important to understand these because they've
got to be overcome if we do.
To be accountable to others, admits a need for others, and
we men consider that a weakness. So rather than confessing
sins to each other, we become rather proficient at,
"blowing smoke." We put up this smoke screen. Someone once
said, "To err is human, and to cover up is human, too." We
know that there are areas in life where we struggle and
where we fall short, but we don't want others to know that.
And so instead, we just grit our teeth and determine to fix
ourselves even though experience and God's Word teaches us
otherwise. Men, we've swallowed a lie. A lie that covering
up and building walls around ourselves and being isolated
is strong when the fact is, that man is a wimp. That man
doesn't have the courage to face himself and the truth. But
the brave man can say to a brother that he knows, and that
he loves, and that he trusts: This is who I am, this is
where I'm weak, and this is where more than anything I need
your prayers. The Bible is right. My heart isn't honest
enough to really deal with what I want to cover up. And
yours isn't either. If a man could just always fix himself,
then that's what the Bible would tell him to do. But the
Bible says, "Confess your sins to each other, and pray for
each other so that you may be healed." I'd like to say to
all of us here, but particularly the.
2. Fear of
Sex, cults and false religious groups have been formed by
the dozens through the improper use of accountability. Even
in the Lord's church, unscriptural hierarchies,
manipulation, guilt motivation, are just a few of the
abuses that have come from an improper application of
accountability. Each Christian is to be accountable:
a) to God, the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ;
b) to the elders and shepherds of the local church,
because those men are going to have to give an account
of our souls, and
c) to other Christians that I love and trust and to
whom I've chosen to be accountable - not those who tell
me I'm accountable to them - but those I have chosen to
be accountable, and that's usually just a small group
There are a lot of people who want to fix what they
perceive is wrong with you. You would be foolish to try to
correct everything they want to correct. You would also be
foolish not to heed the warnings of those closest to you -
those who desire the best for you whatever the cost.
Accountability is like any other major theme in Scripture;
like grace, discipleship, and spiritual freedom. We simply
cannot let abuse by some, distract or intimidate us from
preaching and implementing the full and good extent of what
God's Word tells us.
3. The lack of a
Because accountability does not evolve naturally. It will
not just show up one day in our lives. It is the result of
a purposeful decision to live transparently before someone
you trust. You need some structure to give you discipline
to what you know you should do.
One of the joys in my life, I've been a part of three
different small groups who have met early in the morning,
6:30 a.m., in order one day a week to study the Bible
together and pray. And through that, though none of the
three started out to be any kind of accountability
structure, but just through reading and studying and
getting into each other's lives, we began to make each
other accountable to one another in such a way, that in a
healthy way, we were iron sharpening iron, keeping one
another on track. I urge everybody, but particularly the
men, you need to find some brothers who will help you do
What to look for in a person to will help you be
It must be somebody who unconditionally loves you and that
you unconditionally love. People have to earn the right to
hold someone else accountable. "A friend loves at all
times, and a brother is born for adversity." (Proverbs
17:17) I will only be accountable to a brother who will
love me at all times and who will stand by me, not
patronize me, but stand by me no matter what because he
loves me that much, like Jonathan did David.
Honesty means two things.
a. courage to be transparent.
b. courage to say what one needs to hear. "Wounds from
a friend can be trusted, but the kisses of an enemy are
profuse." (Proverbs 27:6) Oh, there are people in your
life that will just butter you up and flatter you, and
they're trying to use you every way they can. A genuine
friend, it hurts him more than it does you to tell you
The image from Proverbs 27:17 of iron sharpening iron
that gives the picture of two swords clashing against
each other, creating friction, literally wearing off
each other's rough edges, I need a few brothers in my
life who will be like iron, sharpening my sword so that
I can live for the Lord.
It is just good common sense that if you're never around
those people, how can they help you? Don't make the mistake
of trying to get with somebody that you never see or never
will arrange a time to be with.
Nothing will destroy relationships more than violated
trust. If you ever get a small group together who want to
bless one another's life through Bible study and prayer,
you'll find that you'll go at least a year before anybody
will open up and say, "I've got this problem in my life,
would all of you pray with me about it?" Do you know why it
will take at least a year? It will take at least that long
before you know you can trust those individuals. It's not
the kind of thing you hand over easily.
Cover him with prayer, tons and tons of prayer, somebody
who will pray for you. Somebody wrote: I sought my God, but
my God I could not see. I sought my soul, but my soul
alluded me. I sought my brother, and I found all three.
That's what Christians do. That's why accountability is
needed.Program #1208 - Steve
Flatt May 7, 1995
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