Being held accountable

Everyone everywhere is being held accountable to some standards of behavior by someone else.

It is an absolute necessity for being in any family or other social group, learning in any system of education or training, being effective in any enterprise, and being safe in any community and nation. Some of the necessary standards are imposed by others through laws or specific rules for conduct, test scores in academic procedures, achievements in job or athletic or artistic performances, or the preservation of peace and safety in community and national living situations.

Yet some people, maybe too many of us, avoid being held accountable to others for how we behave or we only want to have to live and behave in accord with our self-imposed standards. I think that being selfish is a natural human tendency, and most human beings seek to avoid being controlled by others as much as possible. So there are some personal tendencies in all of us to do what “feels good at the moment”, to eat what “tastes good”, to think what “justifies myself”, and to find as many good ways as possible to avoid being criticized or judged by others. But such freedom from standards of accountability is a dangerous way to live, because there are some very powerful forces of desires and actions that are constantly seeking to direct us into ways of living that are not very good but they are even ultimately destructive.

While many of the standards for accountable personal and social and professional behavior and achievement are well known and very specific, such as obeying traffic and civil laws, others may not always be as easily known or their importance personally acknowledged. For example Joe Paterno, who was just fired from his position as head coach of the Penn State football team after 61 years of faithful and notable service, learned the hard way that there are some very important standards for being accountable in one’s job that are “higher” than just abiding by the law. As he himself admitted, “I should have done more” to stop the ongoing practice of child sexual abuses that Jerry Sandusky, one of his assistant coaches, has been charged with doing. And most of us recognize that the standards for “safe” driving are more important than the posted speed limits when one is driving on snow packed or icy highways. And some of us may recognize that being “politically correct” may not be a high enough standard for our statements and behavior than it is to be honest and compassionate.

While some of the standards by which we are being held accountable are imposed by our parents, teachers, bosses or coaches, police officers, and legislative representatives, some of these standards can only be self-imposed or implemented with us by those friends or guides that we select to help us to be accountable to high and good standards for our behavior. Such friends help many individuals to overcome personal addictions to such substances as narcotics and alcohol by their daily examinations and warnings. And some individuals get a lot of daily guidance and help in this matter of being held accountable from God and his Spirit and the Bible as they consider the wisdom of these resources in their lives.

Being held accountable is a good benefit…

…as an individual seeks to learn how to live in such a world as ours where there are so many different options for one’s behavior and thoughts. Who helps you to be accountable in your daily life? What standards work best for you as you are being held accountable in your daily choices? What is the importance of being held accountable for you? Let’s talk about this.

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