Discipline and Accountability
I believe most of you would agree that people need to be held accountable for their actions and behaviors. Yet many of us do not want to be held accountable for our own actions, but rather make excuses or point fingers. I want to take a look at a story in the bible that looks at this very topic of accountability. In the story, the prophet Nathan is sent by God to hold King David accountable for his actions with Bathsheba. Here’s how it unfolds:
So the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: “There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor. 2 The rich man owned a great many sheep and cattle. 3 The poor man owned nothing but one little lamb he had bought. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man’s own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter. 4 One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing an animal from his own flock or herd, he took the poor man’s lamb and killed it and prepared it for his guest.”
5 David was furious. “As surely as the Lord lives,” he vowed, “any man who would do such a thing deserves to die! 6 He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are that man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul. 8 I gave you your master’s house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more. 9 Why, then, have you despised the word of the Lord and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and stolen his wife. 10 From this time on, your family will live by the sword because you have despised me by taking Uriah’s wife to be your own. 2 Samuel 12:1-10. ~NLT
It was a year later and David had become so insensitive he didn’t realize he was the villain in Nathan’s story. The qualities we condemn in others are often our own character flaws. Which friends, associates, or family members do you find easy to criticize and hard to accept? Instead of trying to change them, ask God to help you understand their feelings and see your own flaws more clearly. You may discover that in condemning others, you have been condemning yourself.
Hebrews 4:12-13 For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account. ~ NKJV
“Dear Lord and Heavenly Father, thank you for the truth of Your word – the bible. It is so very powerful and eye opening. As Your word says, we will give an account to You someday – without excuses, without finger pointing. You know everything about us – the good and the bad. Help us to live lives honorable and pleasing to You. It’s in Jesus name I pray, Amen.”