Are We Accountable?

An obvious question follows my two previous posts. (Afraid Of God? and Does God Punish?) If we reduce fear of punishment, won’t people do all sorts of crazy things?

Can we have accountability without fear of punishment?

Of course a broken world needs laws to regulate behavior. Society can’t function without at least minimal limits and prescribed punishments for exceeding those limits. But we all know that obeying every law isn’t enough.

Laws and rules force (at best) grudging compliance with minimum requirements. Marginal adherence to traffic laws doesn’t make me a safe driver, because safe driving is a matter of respect and attitude. Laws translate moral issues into a legal game of catch-me-if-you-can in which satisfying the rules or not getting caught become more important than doing what’s right.

Good citizenship, strong communities, and authentic relationships can never rest on a list of rules. A healthy society depends on people who develop and act upon higher values of character and integrity, people who go beyond what’s required.

I believe that’s God’s model. He didn’t send His Son so we could be tied to a list of Laws. He doesn’t want us to be people who seek only to follow the rules

God isn’t about meeting minimum requirements. Listen to Jesus’ words:

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17

Jesus calls us to a higher standard of accountability, one we can’t meet but to which He wants us to aspire. He calls us to be accountable not to a list of rules but to our relationship with Him.

God calls us to follow and live in relationship with a person. He knows that as we invite Jesus into our hearts we’ll experience authentic freedom that can’t be found in rules. And He knows seeking that freedom creates an inner desire to follow more closely.

God’s way is simple, but it’s not easy.

He calls us to be accountable to love.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Dixon
Copyright 2008-2012 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.