To whom are you accountable?

At least several times each year, a Christian leader or politician makes a major, and public, moral mistake. And each time it happens, Christians around the world wonder aloud (or ask on their blogs): what happened? Why wasn’t there a supportive Christian community in this person’s life to identify the moral problem and shepherd them away from sin before it consumed their life and career? Where was the Christian support network?

I wonder if Christians in modern American society feel the tension between accountability and individuality more acutely than our predecessors throughout church history did. Few societies have placed as much value on individuality and personal freedom; and while few of us would call those bad things, they do tend to push us away from the Biblical concept of accountability to the community of believers.

Most of us aren’t public figures. But most of us are vulnerable to the same temptations that bring down high-profile pastors and politicians.

Recent scandals have generated some discussion of accountability groups in Washington, D.C. that aim to help public figures avoid career-ending moral pitfalls. But the concept of an “accountability group” or “accountability partner” can be found in our local church communities. Ed Stezer has a recent post with lists of accountability questions that Christians from John Wesley to Chuck Swindoll have used to try and hold themselves accountable to God and the church. The Church Relevance blog picked up on these accountability questions with some commentary.

What about you? Do you consider yourself accountable? To yourself? To God? To other people in the church? Have you ever, on your own initative, decided that you needed to be accountable to somebody else, and went out and found yourself an accountability partner?

And whether you have an official “accountability” relationship with somebody else or not, what do you do on a regular basis to hold yourself accountable to the Christian faith?

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