RALE: Part 2
In my last Weekly Word I covered the first letter of the acrostic RALE. This week I am going to finish the message. If you remember:
1. R: Reject Passivity,
2. A: Accept Responsibility,
3. L: Lead Courageously, and
4. E: Expect God’s Rewards.
A: Accept Responsibility:
How many of us, me included, do that? We live in a world that tends to put the blame for things that go wrong onto someone else rather than stepping up and admitting that we blew it.”
Many people think that accountability and responsibility are the same thing. In fact, many sources will even use one of these words to define the other.
But in reality there is a very important difference between the two. The word responsibility carries with it culpability or fault, while accountability simply necessitates giving an answer.
In the corporate world we can see this easily demonstrated in the relationship between boss and employee. The boss is not responsible to do the job of each employee, but is accountable for whether or not it gets done and gets done correctly.
In our personal lives too, we’re not responsible for each and every detail. Much of it is out of our control. We don’t have any say in whether or not people treat us well, how certain events play out, or a thousand other little uncontrollable details. But according to the Bible, we are still accountable to God for every detail of our lives.
What does the Bible say about accountability? Well, it says we’ll have to answer to Him, not for whether or not everything went perfectly, but for how we responded. We’ll answer for what we did do even when things happened that were out of our hands. **
Look at: Acts 5:1-11
A man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and with his wife's knowledge he kept back for himself some of the proceeds and brought only a part of it and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, “Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and to keep back for yourself part of the proceeds of the land? While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not at your disposal? Why is it that you have contrived this deed in your heart? You have not lied to man but to God.” When Ananias heard these words, he fell down and breathed his last. And great fear came upon all who heard of it. ...
What would have happened if Ananias had been responsible for his action and told the truth. Would the outcome have been different? I believe that it would have been. They sold the land for a price. Instead of telling the apostles that the amount that they laid at their feet was what they received for it, but what they were giving, the outcome would have been an acceptance of the gift and they would not have been judged as they were. In the biblical account, they lied and were punished for it.
L: Lead Courageously: An example of this is found in Joshua as we read of him in Exodus 17:
Joshua was the son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim. He was born a Hebrew slave in Egypt, and he became Moses’ aide when he was a young man. His first job was as a spy. Moses sent representatives from each of the twelve tribes of Israel to spy out the land of Canaan. Joshua was selected as the representative from the tribe of Ephraim. His early days as a spy prepared him for his future role as Israel’s military general.
Joshua was recognized as a courageous leader in the battle against the Amalekites. While Moses held his staff above his head and Aaron and Hur supported Moses’ arms on top of the hill, Joshua became the general of the Israelite army and led them to victory in the valley. It was here that he distinguished himself as a strong and courageous warrior and brilliant military strategist.
And finally: Expect God’s Rewards
36 In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (in Greek her name is Dorcas); she was always doing good and helping the poor. 37 About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room. 38 Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”
39 Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.
40 Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up. 41 He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called for the believers, especially the widows, and presented her to them alive. 42 This became known all over Joppa, and many people believed in the Lord. Moses
The Lord rewarded her kindness to the widows of Joppa with life.
There are many examples of men and women in the Bible that fit our acrostic. Gideon, Joseph, Neamiah, Esther, Ruth, David, Daniel, Paul, and Peter, all rejected passivity, accepted responsibility, lead courageously, and in the end were rewarded by God for their actions. We need to follow their examples and walk the walk that God has set before us.
**Peters, Cherith, Article “What does the Bible say about Accountability, March 2020