With the spate of scandals that we see coming to light everyday in the media, we can observe that the world is paying close attention to accountability of organisations and their leaders.
Nonetheless, we know that accountability is not something that is easy to do or adopted even though we see its importance.
As for me, being brought up in a family background where my parents were mostly not around and at work, I was pretty much left to do what I wanted to do as I liked. And many of those things I did then, landed me into trouble.
At 14, I gained even more independence after my parents divorced, so I can say I grew up with almost no understanding or practise of accountability.
Me, I and myself
I was a lone ranger. I did what I like and I did it my way whenever I feel like it. And the result was my chequered past.
Initially when I committed my life to Christ and the Church, I really detested having to be accountable as I felt a loss of freedom to do what I wanted to do. Being accountable seemed to create alot of “red tapes” for me to just get something done.
But eventually I discovered how impatient and impulsive I was. And being biblically accountable to God and His appointed leaders, actually helped me to be rational and not reactive in my circumstances.
This helped me practise in trusting God more for His counsel rather than doing what I thought/felt was right but regretting my actions thereafter.
Therefore, I learnt that true freedom wasn’t about being able to do as I please but in fact, true freedom is being able to do what is right even at a wrong time.
Us, we and ourselves
Gradually as I grew closer with God, I realised that my every action actually affected not only those around me, but also God. For instance when I sinned deliberately, God would be grieved or hurt cos I disobeyed. But the beauty was that He still loved me, and not condemned me.
Knowing this truth and experiencing His grace, it compelled me to do what would only please God. It was no longer just about me, I and myself.
Now it was about us, we and ourselves. My motivation is to see God smile. And for Him to wear an even bigger smile is to see His Church united in love, trust and in truth.
As we grow older, I think it gets increasingly more difficult to be accountable. This is because we will inherently think we are matured/wise/smart/experienced enough to handle things ourselves without the counsel of other people or even God. And this is very much linked to our prideful nature.
The accountability factor
I’ve learnt that being accountable is actually being wise and not foolish.
Not only do we avoid unnecessary trouble that will destroy what we might have built over the years with our momentarily slip-ups, we are also able to be true to ourselves and live a life of integrity without needing to be hiding or ashamed.
Though I am not perfect, I am glad and relieve that I can be truthful about it to God and others whom I trust so that I can be real and be covered of my “blind spots” and areas of weakness.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me- Galatians 2:20
Avoiding the fall from grace
Just take at what we read from the news: a primary school teacher who’s married with children got caught shoplifting; politicians and pastors of churches caught in sex scandals; T T Durai’s fall from glory over the NKF fiasco; corporate leaders caught embezzling.
These are all real life cases from which we can learn and avoid repeating their mistakes in our own lives. Therefore, being accountable pays off.
And more importantly, with the world watching us Christians’ every word and action, it is imperative that we (leaders or followers) live above reproach so that the good news can be spread effectively for Jesus.