Impact

Accountable – Proverbs 28

One of the most difficult things for a man to do is to admit when he is wrong. Even though any person of sound mind is keenly aware that there are many areas of life in which we all struggle and fail, it remains a painfully difficult process for a man to swallow his pride and openly admit his error.


One of the most difficult things for a man to do is to admit when he is wrong. Even though any person of sound mind is keenly aware that there are many areas of life in which we all struggle and fail, it remains a painfully difficult process for a man to swallow his pride and openly admit his error.

Not long ago, I drove several friends to a day-long leadership conference. It was an enjoyable experience and the afternoon sessions were especially encouraging and enlightening.

As the conference ended, we were all in a good mood and we decided to go out to eat before we drove home. The conference was in a part of Philadelphia that I was unfamiliar with, but I figured that I would be able to get us where we needed to go – especially because I was the one who had driven us to the conference in the first place. Unfortunately, on our way to the restaurant, I got us lost.

I wasn’t happy when I realized what I had done and I knew that the guys were going to bust on me for it once they realized we were lost. But somehow, they started blaming one of the other men for my mistake. I guess I could have let that continue, but I felt compelled to swallow my pride and admit my fault so they would get off his case.

The book of Proverbs is filled with excellent advice on how to navigate life with sensitivity to the Lord’s will. Proverbs 28 tells us, “He who conceals his sins does not prosper,but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy. Blessed is the man who always fears the LORD,
but he who hardens his heart falls into trouble.” Proverbs 28:13-14.

It is within our nature to try to protect our reputations and hide our sins. I struggle with this all the time. Yet the promise we are given in this chapter of God’s Word is that we will find mercy from God if we will genuinely confess our sin and renounce it or give it up.

Likewise, God’s Word promises blessing to the man who “fears” or reveres the Lord. But the man who stubbornly refuses to allow the Lord to soften his heart will experience needless difficulty and pain that could have been avoided in the first place.

God wants his children to remain accountable to Him. He expects us to understand that we are answerable to Him and must report to Him for our actions and decisions. Regularly confessing our sins to Him will help us not to develop hearts that are hardened toward Him and unresponsive to His love, grace and mercy.

God’s Word also makes it clear that we are to confess our sins to other brothers in Christ. “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” James 5:16. When we expose our sins to the light and stop concealing and nurturing our rebellion against God, we can find freedom from the sin that so regularly causes us to stumble and fall.

Not long ago, one of my friends suggested that we meet regularly to keep each other accountable. Because he was someone that I trusted, I agreed to meet together twice a month. We meet for lunch and during our conversation, we confess our personal sins and struggles to each other and we rejoice in the areas where the Lord is giving us victory and strength. Then we pray for each other. This was awkward at first, but in time we both have come to appreciate the ways God has used this time of accountability to enable our faith to grow.

Reflection

Is your heart in a state of rebellion against the Lord’s will? Are there sins in your life that you have chosen to conceal? Would you be willing to confess your sin to another brother in Christ? Can you be trusted to hear another brother’s confession without judging him or repeating what he revealed? Are you aware that you will not be able to enjoy victory over your personal sins if you will not confess and renounce them? What is holding you back from doing so?

Prayer

Lord, please create the desire within me to love You more than I love my secret sins. Help me not to run from you any longer. In Jesus name, Amen.

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