We Are Accountable to God
Timothy McVeigh, the man convicted of the 1995 bombing that killed 168 people at a federal office building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, wrote these words before his 2001 execution: “I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”
McVeigh was sadly mistaken. Like everyone on earth, he was accountable to God. In Ezekiel 18:4 the Lord said, “All souls are Mine,” and in verse 20 He added, “The soul who sins shall die.”
As Christians, we have been spared from the penalty of eternal death, but all of us will still give an account of ourselves to God (Romans 14:12). We have been given much, and how we live and lead should be a reflection of biblical values.
We are God’s standard-bearers. Being accountable to Him will ensure that we do not misrepresent Him during our time on this earth.
How can we practice accountability?
Paul encouraged us to comfort and edify one another (1 Thessalonians 5:11). And James said we should confess our sins to one another and pray for one another (James 5:16).
We all need accountability partners. This is especially true for leaders, whose decisions affect many other people.
Your ideal accountability partners will be people who care about you, people you trust, people who will tell you the truth in a constructive manner, and people who will faithfully bear you up in prayer.
The support of fellow believers is important, because doing the right thing isn’t always easy.
Consider the challenge faced by Moses, who had to choose between being called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter or suffering affliction with God’s people. He chose God’s people (Hebrews 11:24-26). Or look at Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego, as well as Daniel, who risked death in order to serve God (Daniel 3:16-18; 6:10). In the heat of trials, each of these leaders chose God instead of what the world had to offer. We can do the same.
For His glory
There are numerous examples of modern day Christian leaders who acknowledged their accountability to God and strove to use their lives for His glory.
Here are just a few:
- R.G. LeTourneau, the father of the modern earth-moving industry, saw himself as “God’s businessman.” He launched missionary enterprises in Africa and South America and preached around the world. And in 1946 he founded LeTourneau University, which claims every workplace in every nation as its mission field and teaches students to integrate faith and work.
- John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil Company, was the first American to be worth a billion dollars. He acknowledged that God gave him his money and tithed at an early age. He became a philanthropist and supported causes ranging from churches to public health.
- Henry Heinz was founder of the Heinz Company and attributed his success to God. His company became known for the fair way in which it treated its employees.
Faithful in the little things
In Luke 16:10-12, Jesus said, “If you are faithful in little things, you be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealthy, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own?” (nlt).
We are stewards of the time, talents and resources God has entrusted to us. May we use them wisely, so that when we stand before Him, we won’t be guilty of misrepresenting Him or of wasting the opportunities He has given us.
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