“Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgement.” -Psalm 51:1-4
This Psalm was written by David after his affair with Bathsheba. It’s a prime example of confession and repentance. David was feeling much guilt and shame from his actions. There are really two human responses to our sin. The first is that we run from God and hide.
Adam and Eve clearly demonstrated this in the garden when they hide from God. The second response is one that David demonstrated in that he clearly ran to God. Romans 3:23 states “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” What is your response to sin?
For many in the Christian circle the answer is “I am not going to do that again, and I need more accountability.” Accountability is an awesome concept when worked out properly. I have seen lists of accountability questions that many of my BYX brothers have used. On the list contains questions such as
1) Have you spent time in the word this week?
2) Have you cheated in school this week?
3) Have you had impure thoughts towards someone this week?”
All are questions with good intentions, but we must be careful not to get into the business of sin management. Sin management is when we attempt to simply just control our behavior. Controlling your behavior is a desperate miserable cycle that leads to frustration, shame, guilt and ultimately drives us away from God like Adam and Eve.
I submit that what we need in accountability is a direction that leads us to the cross. A direction that stirs our affections and passion for greater experience with Jesus. The more in tune and passionate we are about Jesus, the more growth we see in our sanctification and the less desirable our sin becomes. Some accountability questions that stir our affections for Jesus might be:
1) What have the Scriptures revealed in your life this week?
2) How have you experienced God in your life this week?
3) How are you responding to the Holy Spirit’s prompting?
4) Do you need to confess any sin?
These questions are centered around Jesus and are focused on the cross and freedom we have in Christ. In reflecting upon your own life, the question is, are you more like Adam or more like David in response to your sin? How are you or how can you use your brothers in BYX to respond to your sin like David?