My grad school research focused on the concept of “behavior in children.”
I learned that a key component in changing behavior in children is getting them to see that their behavior is controllable. They own it and can change it. Sometimes I need to hear that as well. We can call this self-accountability. I am responsible for my choices and actions.
(In my last article, I focused on accountability to God. That is by far the most important, and all other types of accountability fall under this notion.)
My husband, Eric, and I were going over scriptures relating to self-accountability—all scriptures relate to accountability in some shape or form, by the way—but we really tried to zone in on clear examples.
Self-accountability is murky because isn’t self-accountability also accountability to God? We answer to Him, but what I’m focused on today is someone who shows he is responsible for the choices he made.
After throwing out names and stories, Job really jumped out at me. It may seem like a reversal to use Job as an example of self-accountability, but give me a moment to demonstrate.
Job was tested as no man before….because he was upright, righteous. So, we can gather that Job was able to continually reflect on his life to maintain righteousness.
He took full responsibility for the choices in his life.
Which is why he couldn’t understand the terrible events that were unfolding. He stated, if he dared questioned the Lord, he wasn’t sure the Lord would even hear or see him. Job didn’t know about the test God allowed the devil to put him through. He had no answers, for he thought he did everything right.
What Job did understand was God’s great power.
Can we say that when we go through a trial? That we recognize God’s great power, the magnificent perfection of the Lord in all things? Can we say that we did it all according to the scriptures, that we are totally in God’s will? And also…still recognize God’s power in our unexplainable trial? Can we completely rely on the Lord, through ourselves, our humanness? Recognizing that self-accountability rests in the understanding that God is who He is, the Almighty?
Job still repented. This righteous man, still repented in the midst of sorrows. (Job 42:6)
Job also found it in his heart to forgive his closest friends for giving him terrible advice. He prayed for them. And from that beautiful experience of being so low, sticking with the Lord, and also finding a piece of himself that can forgive others, all was returned to Job. And more. (Job 42:12)
Let us do the same. Even when we don’t understand our lives. Even in the midst of deep sorrow. Be accountable. Don’t put blame on circumstance, other people, governments…look within. Be accountable. Walk with the Lord.
Next Friday, Sister Linda will examine the opposite side of today’s coin—taking you from self-accountability (what we do for ourselves as individuals) to accountability partnership (how we help each other as a community of believers).
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.