The Discovery

DAY THREE

DAY THREE: ACCOUNTABILITY WITHIN THE BODY OF CHRIST

Review:

  • God created the church, both locally and globally, to function as a single
    unit with a single purpose.
  • You are responsible for serving and lifting up other members of the body,
    putting them before yourself.

As a member of the body of Christ, you are responsible for carrying out your
assignment without malfunction and for supporting and encouraging other members
of the body, receiving the same support in return. Even more than support of
other believers, however, the accountability found through relationships
within the church is vitally important to a believer.
Paul thought so. Much of the New Testament is made up of letters written by Paul to young churches, encouraging them, but also correcting them when necessary, reminding them that they must answer to God and to Him, as God’s representative, for their actions.

1 Corinthians 1:10-15, 1 Corinthians 3:1-4, 1 Corinthians 4:18-21, and 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

If you are accountable to someone, then that person has the right to hold you
responsible for your words, actions, and even your thoughts. Accountability is
not comfortable, but is extremely beneficial. In theory, none of us should have
trouble living as Christ. After all, God Himself knows us better than we know
ourselves. He sees all, and it is He who will judge us. Such knowledge should
cause us to quake at the thought of the sin that we allow into our lives, but
sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes, God uses our Christian brothers and sisters to
confront us about sin in our lives either through their words or in their living
a Christ-like example in front of us. For some reason, the thought of answering
to a “flesh and bone” representative of God can elicit a greater response from
us than the mental and/or emotional awareness of God’s constant presence.

Mature believers seek accountability. They understand their human
limitations and the value of answering to another believer or believers. Because
they value God and His purposes above their own, they are willing to sacrifice
their pride and ask others to help them improve in various areas of their lives.

Proverbs 12:1

As you seek to be obedient to God’s call on your life, it is important that
you have a source of accountability. First, you must be accountable to a local
body of believers. If you are not a member of a local church, be about the
business of finding the local body of believers that God wants you to join.

Second, assume an attitude of submission toward the appointed spiritual
leadership within your church. That is not to say that you are to rely on them
first and foremost for your spiritual growth, but that you decide right now to
receive future direction and/or words of constructive criticism without
responding defensively, allowing the Holy Spirit to help you discern whether or
not the direction and/or words of constructive criticism that you receive are
from God.

Third, among your Christian peers, find an accountability partner or group
and meet with them on a consistent, regular basis. (See the “Peer Accountability
Guide” on this CD for ideas of fining and planning a consistent accountability
time.)

Never allow an accountability relationship to become a crutch or a
replacement for the Holy Spirit in your life. People are not perfect; God is.
Always maintain your personal relationship with Him in such a way that the Holy
Spirit can speak clearly to you.

Take a few moments and write your thoughts, concerns, and questions in your
journal. Allow the following thought suggestions to guide you.

To whom are you currently accountable? Describe that relationship. Does it
need to improve in any way?

How do you feel about being confronted by another believer? Why? Are there
any changes in attitude that you need to make?

What steps do you believe God wants you to take in the area of
accountability?

What is God teaching you?

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