There will always be those who will tell you what you want to hear. Webster’s definition of accountability refers to “an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions.” Everyone needs to be accountable to someone, even when it comes to spiritual matters.
Yes, we are responsible for our own actions and must give an account to God for our deeds. But God has also placed ministry leaders in the church in part for this purpose. Pastors have a responsible to teach the truth to the people God has given them to shepherd. Not to lord over the people but to be an example. (1 Peter 5:2-3 NIV) “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” A true shepherd will nurture, lead, and protect God’s people.
It is important to have someone in your life who will tell you the truth. Everyone needs someone in their life who will be honest and not feed the ego. It maybe necessary to give people permission to speak truth into our lives. Scripture teaches in Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.”
Just as the shepherd has a responsibility to the people, the people have a responsibility to submit to God’s designated authority. (Hebrews 13:17 NIV) “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” Christians are to obey their leaders and submit to them, and the leader is accountable to God for how they care for God’s people.
It is important that we stay humble at the feet of Jesus. Correction may come through your spiritual leader, or a trusted friend depending on the situation you maybe dealing with. If someone really loves you they are willing to speak the truth in love even if it hurts. Correction given in love is better than insincere acts of affection.
Has anyone ever corrected you in love and it proved beneficial to you?