Accountability deepens Worship

I have just gotten back from talking at that men’s camp. Great weekend, great guys, add some naughtiness and plenty of meat and you have all the makings of an awesome weekend.

Anyway one of the things that seemed to strike a chord for all of us was the part that accountability plays in the “truth” part of John 4:23-24. Obviously the word “truth” applies to quite a few areas of life, but accountability is definitely one of them.

Now accountability is not one of those words we like because if you like we it means you are going to be in trouble, a lot. First of all I just want to make a little distinction, you get one-way accountability (which often leads to manipulation) and mutual accountability (this is the kind we like a little more, and which is good for us).

How does accountability help our worship you might ask? Well the short answer is that it helps us worship from the truth of who we are. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to lie to yourself? Try this little experiment, walk into your favourite shop, with a bunch of cash (even if you can’t afford) and count how many seconds it takes for you to justify buying something. Now that’s dangerous hey, but I thought that was deal for all scientific experiments, that if something goes wrong at least you get a cool explosion for your efforts.

Anyway if we can justify spending some cash we don’t have on something like that, you can bet we are going to try and justify ourselves to bunch of “religious” people, and even to God himself. Now you might say I know I’m a “sinner” (or whatever bad word you want to insert here), “I’m not trying to justify anything.” Let me ask another question do you present or with your best side or your worst side?

I know for myself when I worship God I can so easily just show/bring Him my best side because after all I want to experience His presence in the service and it’s hard enough to get Him to show up without hanging out all my dirty laundry.

Mutual accountability allows a trusted friend to shine God’s light into our lives. Read 1 John 1:5-10, it’s really insightful. Now the other important thing is that this only works in a gracious environment. Notice how those verses talk about cleansing and forgiveness. Grace allows us to face our darkness, not to deny it, and to bring cleansing, forgiveness and healing into those areas.

We all know that God is not into us worshipping idols/false images but when we bring a false image of ourselves to church is that any better? God’s grace allows us to worship from a place that is true about who we are, and to still be able to engage His awesome presence.

Any comments?

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7 thoughts on “Accountability deepens Worship

  1. Mmm…accountability: such a simple notion and such a frikken hard reality to live out in life…!

    I find MY biggest resistance to accountable relationships is that ive been RAISED to prove to the world that i am ‘mos strong’ and independent and that weakness is borderline “here okes, come and ridicule me” stuff. Not so? We live with a crowd of mockers in our heads constantly and to hear their (or our) jeers when we do fall short is terrible painful.

    But i agree with you Just, how can we bring a false self to worship God? Eventually we start smelling false anyways to the people around us…and out actions get all quirky and weird and shadowy…

    Im reading a good book current, called Strength In Weakness: the line that stood out for me last night: God frees us up to be honest sinners before him- haha. I LIKE it:)

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    1. Totally, but that’s why it’s got to be mutual sharing. If it’s not the other person becomes more “spiritual” which is really nonsense, and can open you up to being manipulate or hurt. You have every right to pull out of an accountability relationship that isn’t mutual.

      Also I love the whole grace thing. It allows us to name our sin, and yet we don’t have to be written off or disqualified by it, as long as we own up to it.

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  2. Do you think it is possible that the mode of worship: music, songs, hymns; can contribute to the raising of the “best side/worst side” you mention?

    In a negative context do you think that worship can get in the way of Worship?

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    1. I totally think it can. I have worshiped with some horrible songs, worship leading styles etc. And it certainly can drive you up the wall, bringing out the dark side.

      By “worship” I take it you mean the music? I agree there too. Sometime we find a song that we dig, and we sing it cos we like the song, not because we want to sing it to God. Or we hate the song and so we can’t worship.

      However worship does not equal music, so when the songs or the worship team/leader are really irritating me I just ignore them, and go to a quiet place in my heart and try and worship from there.

      But it’s more than that, it’s all the junk in our lives, and even the stuff we don’t see, and that’s where we need good friends to help us see our blind spots.

      However in all of that it is Grace that let’s us know God still accepts us when we worship. Hope that makes more sense.

      BTW It’s great to connect with you again Mash. I drive past the old house in Walmer everyday, good times…

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      1. I am in agreement.

        I think my biggest struggle is I am by personality a perfectionist and that flows into my worship. If circumstances internally or externally do not feel right and perfect then I fail to worship God, or really just hide from Him.

        This of course is a total misunderstanding of Grace. We do not worship out of our own perfection or even out of our own ability, we worship out of Christ’s perfection and His ability through the Holy Spirit.

        What is amazing about taking the focus off ourselves and focusing on Grace is that we end up doing what we thought we were unable and unsuitable to do in the first place; worshiping God.

        We worship God because God gives us his Spirit to worship him, it is in Spirit and in Truth that we then worship. Not in our ability to perform a function in the right way, or with the right motives.

        Thus Jesus first, and with the ability of the Spirit we then see the glory of God in the face of Christ and worship Him.

        Hebrews 10:10,14

        10. “And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.”

        14 “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”


        I will actually be in South Africa Jan 2010 for Mum’s wedding. Must stay in touch.

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  3. I too am agreement of accountability. No matter what the circumstance, our Lord did design us and knows from the very beginning. He has given freedom of choice and I’m accountable to Him. By His grace we are saved and His mercies new each morning. For these gift, I am enternally grateful.

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  4. Dude, you are so right. As a young pastor I have about three different pastors that I am in constant connection with. Its not always easy sharing the deepest hardest issues concerning marriage and purity, but bro there is power in confessing are sins to one another.

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