“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven” Luke 6:37
He makes it difficult to attend the same functions. A loud mouth, making fun of everyone in the room while encouraging others in attendance to do the same. As an older woman of faith it is difficult for me to stop myself from grabbing this young upstart by the ear, twisting just a bit while pulling his tall frame lowly enough in my direction to whisper, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Luke 1:5 If you love your brother you will hold them accountable.
Seriously friends, we cannot hold one another accountable if we are not willing to be held accountable. If you see your neighbor harm another individual and if you do not hold them accountable you too will be judged accordingly for NOT saying something. “Do not hate your brother in your heart. Rebuke your neighbor frankly so you will not share in his guilt.” Leviticus 19:17
None of us is above accountability unfortunately, the average person confuses the term “accountability” with the term “judge”. These two terms are not one in the same, not even close! Be certain you understand the difference.
“Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth, each one of you, with his neighbor, for we are members of one another.” Ephesians 4:25 When we hold one another accountable it is done in all love. The goal is to build a person up and not tear down.
To be in a state of accountability one must be able to provide a description of facts, conditions, or events. Nothing more, no shame or recrimination but to point out an offense. For instance if you know a person in a twelve step program and they go back to their habit, pointing this out is accountability. To tell them they will never get clean again is a judgment. It is conclusive without room for change. To judge: a proposition stating something believed or asserted. It is not established as fact.
I knew a young christian person once who thought it was acceptable to scream and curse at their spouse and children. To be treated with insolence, indignity, or contempt can have negative results.
I took the time to caution this person regarding the use of such harsh language. The immediate response was to become haughty; to deflect rather than consider my carefully chosen words of caution and encouragement. Confusing accountability with judgment.
Inadvisable this person continued in this unproductive manner until once, twice, three times they were reported for spousal and child abuse. Even at the third charge they were too pompous to accept there might be some truth in the charges against them.
The goal in accountability is to edify, to build up and not to lower a person’s countenance. Heed the words of a wise elder and consider closely just what they speak. “A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels” Proverbs 1:5. As a member of the body of Christ it is our familial obligation to hold one another answerable for our actions.
If your behavior is unbecoming and you call yourself a Christian you have to be prepared for accountability. Let us not be remiss in keeping our eyes and hearts on the call to spread the good news. In order to do this we must be teachable. “From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.”Ephesians 4:16