By its very definition, “accountability” indicates that we are “responsible to someone or for some action.” We are “answerable.” Our nation’s Founding Fathers chose to build accountability into our governmental system through the checks and balances of three branches: legislative, executive, and judicial. All of us are wise to build accountability into our lives in the form of right relationships. We do well when we daily yield in recognition of the fact that our ultimate accountability is to God.
Is it possible, however, for us to carry accountability too far? In the name of fairness or in hypersensitivity could we slowly become people who are just looking for any and every opportunity to blow the whistle on someone? Could we become ones who are unable to let go of the past failures of others?
Those may sound like heretical statements; I know. Paul reminds us, however of love’s supreme value. One of its characteristics is a personal decision that each of us is faced with as we find ourselves placing the proverbial whistle to our mouths, ready to call a foul on someone. Can I choose, instead, to “keep no record of wrong” (v. 5)? Or, as the New American Standard Bible puts it, can I resolve to “not take into account a wrong suffered”? Rather than taking offense, could I choose to let it slide?
That kind of decision is only possible as we unleash God’s kind of unconditional love that is empowered by grace and forgiveness. These are the very things that God doles out to every child of God in overwhelming quantities. As a result, He has chosen to overlook my past sin. As a result, every time I confess sin to Him, He faithfully and righteously forgives me and cleanses me. It is no longer an issue. It is no longer something that He has recorded.
If you have received that kind of “keeps no record of wrongs” love from your heavenly Father, you are now to be a conduit that generously passes it on to others.
As I was writing this, I was listening to music, and this Brandon Heath song from 1 Corinthians played. Perhaps you will benefit from it the way I did. Click here to listen.