Life is an adventure, a mystery and a challenge—to be lived one-day-at-a-time. Because we know that life leads to death, and therefore eternity, we have the right reason now to do what we can to live aright. Living intentionally for eternity is about planning for the inevitable and to live life accordingly.
The secret to living intentionally for eternity (L.I.F.E.) is accountability—principally to God, for our attitudes and our actions—yes, all of them.
Simple illustrations for the accountable life involve the eyes, to guard what we take a second look at; the tongue, by what we say and how we say things; and our ears, by what we choose to listen to. Underpinning accountability is our heart.
A Great Duty Of Life
One of our greatest duties in life is holding ourselves to safe account. Much of life, otherwise, holds us to account: our parents and teachers when we were young, our bosses in the workplace, and the law, etc.
But if we can hold ourselves to a dutiable self-account we may even render other authorities and mechanisms of accountability, in some cases, redundant.
Where we can hold ourselves to good account we enjoy more control over our lives.
Of course, the highest good in keeping ourselves to close account is we honour God.
When we value accountability over the self, we show ourselves as responsible, and we demonstrate that truth—despite our sinful natures—is a value we hold.
We worship the Lord, solely, in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24). Being accountable is the best way to worship the Lord by honouring the truth.
When we struggle with accountability we are actually disobeying God.
Being Accountable Is A Quiet Activity
The best feature of the accountable is their quite certitude toward the task. For Jesus said:
“Beware of practicing your piety before others in order to be seen by them; for then you have no reward from your Father in heaven.”
~Matthew 6:1 (NRSV)
Jesus referred to this principle of keeping quiet regarding good deeds in the context of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving. What sense is there in claiming credit for simply doing that which we should be doing anyway?
Two things come into view: the accountable obey God by their acts of accountability and, perhaps even more importantly, by revealing a heart centred on God—they retain the secret. In their accountability they see nothing as personally creditable.
Of course, this shows us all up. I, for one, too often claim credit for the things I should do anyway; in doing so I, myself, steal away the blessings that the Father is storing for me in heaven. We all do it. The key is to stop doing it, and to pick ourselves up in the moment of being motivated to claim credit.
The obedient-accountable person does what they need to do and they claim no credit.
To live intentionally for eternity requires us to embrace self-accountability. When we welcome the truth, and prove obedient in quiet ways, heaven truly is in our heart.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.