Accountability and Admonishment
Many people in modern society today are not able to handle any kind of constructive criticism. The modern person has become unable to acknowledge wrongdoing on their own part. Holding each other accountable and correcting bad behavior has almost become a crime - it's considered offensive and hurtful. The terms "I'm sorry" or "I was wrong" are rarely spoken in our obstinate world.
Today we are going to learn from God's Word about accountability and admonishment.
We will begin by defining these two words:
Accountability - an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility. To account for one's actions. Answerable, liable, responsible.
Admonish - to warn or reprimand someone firmly. To give friendly or earnest advice. Rebuke, chide, reprove, reproach.
As Christians, our sins are forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ our Savior, but that does NOT mean that we can continue sinning (click HERE to read "Christians are not excluded from obedience")
To make it easy we will break our focus down into two areas: OTHERS and OURSELVES.
Holding "others" accountable for their actions.
(Clarification - "Others" can only be our brothers and sisters in Christ.)
In the Bible verses listed above you will see that we we notice a brother or sister in Christ sinning - we must gently restore that person to righteousness.
There is a correct and incorrect way of letting someone know that they have sinned. Below, in the second featured Scripture we see that there are three steps to take:
STEP 1 One-on-one, go to the person at fault, just between the two of you and gently detail the sin that you have noticed. (If that person does not change their ways then move onto step 2)
STEP 2 Take at least one other person with you and try to confront the sinner a second time. This time the sinner will see that more than one person has noticed the sin. (If that person does not change their ways then move onto step 3)
STEP 3 Finally, expose the sinful issue to the sinner in front of the church.
At this point if the sinner still refuses to acknowledge his/her wrongdoing and refuses to repent, then there is nothing else you can do. Treat that person as if they were a "tax collector." (in other words - they would no longer be part of the Christian family/church).
When the sinner admits their wrong and repents, then we must help them through the repentance and "carry any burden" (see verses above).
We should be constantly looking at our own actions and repenting whenever we have sinned (testing our own actions). In our daily prayers we should ask that God would show us areas of sin and ask for His strength, courage and wisdom to repent.
In the verse from James below you will see that we must confess our sins to each other. As soon as you realize some sin in your life, immediately go to your brother and sister and confess. Notice the next part of this verse - so that you may be healed.
In the Galatians passage at the top of this post you will notice a CAUTION - when confronting others with their sin make sure not to be tempted. Often, when someone is in a sin they are blinded to the truth and many times they are able to reason through the "fault" to make it seem like it's not really a sin. Be careful not to get caught up in this deception.
Pray daily for the wisdom and courage to admonish (when needed), and to hold ourselves and each other accountable.
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