Accountability is a word that gets thrown around a lot in church and Christian culture. But what does it actually mean in the context of the gospel? In this video, author and writer, Whitney Capps, explains how we often confuse transparency with accountability and what biblical accountability should look like.
The entire video is above, and the complete transcript is below.
Accountability has become one of those really popular, church culture buzzwords. We love people who are transparent and authentic, but sometimes we forget that the real goal of the gospel is not merely for us to be transparent or to own our junk. But the gospel is really meant to be a change agent. And we should live, look, and love more like Jesus tomorrow than we do today. That’s the call of sanctification.
But one of the most practical ways that that happens is through accountability.
Now sometimes we have this notion that accountability is all of us gathering up in our small groups. And maybe your small group is nothing like mine. But in my small group we’ll kind of huddle up and somebody will inevitably say something like, “You guys, I failed again and I messed up. Maybe I lost it with my husband or my kids and I just feel so frustrated.”
Well, because I have really great friends who love me and love Jesus, somebody will jump in and say, “Oh goodness. Please don’t feel bad about that. We’ve all been there.” Well, man, that’s really comforting, but that’s not really the call of accountability.
The call of accountability is not to comfort me in my sin, but to call me through the gospel and the power of the Holy Spirit, not to comfort, but to change.
So accountability in I think its most biblical form is not somebody merely saying, “Hey, meet too.” But someone who will say, “Maybe me too, but what does Jesus want us to do?”
And while that can be really sticky and kind of uncomfortable that is the call of the gospel. We shouldn’t cling to our transparency as though it’s some virtue. The goal should be actual transformation. But for that to happen in my life and maybe for that to happen in yours, we need people who will call us, not to be the better version of ourselves, but to be the most crucified version of ourselves and to pursue living, looking, and loving more like Jesus.
Now, maybe you don’t have those friendships in your life. I totally get it. It’s been a process for me to invite that kind of accountability, but it has been so powerful and God has used those friends who love Jesus more than they love me to help make sure that I am changing, which is the call of the gospel.