Everyone is Accountable
When Ananias and Sapphira were struck dead, Peter didn’t say, “You stole money from us because this was our collective money and you withheld it.” He said, “That was your money and your land. That wasn’t our money and our land. You lied to the Holy Spirit in order to promote yourself, so therefore you’ll be drug out by your feet.” And then God killed them (Acts 5). But it wasn’t collective money. It was their choice because Christianity is a voluntary “religion” in that sense. Accountability is voluntary just as giving their land and money was. God wanted their hearts but He didn’t get their hearts. That was why He struck them dead.
So with accountability, suppose I’m working in the garden with two other brothers and a couple of sisters. In the process I hit the shovel on my toe and have a reaction. I have accountability to those who are with me. And they have a responsibility to me to say, “Are you sure your reaction was like Jesus?” In one sense I am over them in the Lord—that is a Biblical concept in Hebrews 13. “Make it a joy and not a burden to those who are over you in the Lord,” and “They give an account for your soul.” The idea of leadership is clearly in the Bible. So in one sense I’m responsible for them. On the other hand, if I’m unlike Jesus in some area of my life, then they’re responsible for me and I need to submit to them.
They shouldn’t be afraid to talk to me because I’m higher and they’re lower and “I’m in charge” so they’re afraid to talk to me. There has to be the liberty with one another no matter who we are. That liberty to make each other accountable flows through life and neighborhoods and age and maturity in Christ. It flows in both directions at all times based on seeing Jesus and based on the Life and Peace of the moment.
That’s right. We have the same thing of depending on one another. I hope that I have the same accountability towards everybody that I have towards the Lord.
Yes, exactly. In most of the religious world in christendom there’s no accountability, right? People don’t open their hearts to that and they don’t desire it. They say, “Get the log out of your own eye! You can’t judge me!” They don’t even want to talk about spiritual life. That’s a disappointment, but part of our job is to spread the word and the example that Jesus does want our whole heart, soul, mind and strength. We need to be courageous enough to offer ourselves and humble enough to hear. Christianity is a living thing, not just an idea in your head.