What does it mean to you?

Editor’s note: This is the third segment in a series by Lyndon Stimeling titled “Accountability.” The column will publish weekly on the Religion page.

“But I say to you that for every idle word men

may speak, they will give account of it in the

day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36

Accountability, what does it mean to you? As we think of our responsibility to God, how serious is this issue in your life? Does it just refer to where we put our faith, hope and trust; or does it reach into every area of our lives?

When the weight of this subject (accountability) was impressed on my heart and mind, it seemed like a heavy burden to bear. Is it really that important in a Christians life, aren’t we supposed to relax and enjoy the higher life of health, wealth and happiness? Let’s look at this topic for a moment and see what the Bible has to say about it.

Matthew 18:6 says, “But whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea.” Verses 7-9 remind us of the consequences of being an offense (stumbling block) to a child of God. In other words, we are going to be held accountable for the way that we relate to others.

Are we encouraging others on the path to eternal life or leading them toward the gates of hell? We mentioned before about the religious woman who led others astray (Proverbs 7:6-27), so what about ourselves? Have we considered the impact we have on others through our words and the way we relate to them? What impression do we leave on others?

If we are reflecting Christ and the goodness of God as we should, then we have nothing to fear. But if we allow carnal thoughts to rule our hearts and minds, those thoughts will reveal themselves through our words and actions. If God sends someone into our path, do we point them toward Christ or do we dishonor our Lord?

Matthew 12:36 says that we will have to give an account of every idle word that we speak. Think about that for a moment! The words we speak to others at the store, garage, restaurant, church or social gathering are of great importance. And what about family gatherings, do we destroy our testimony before our sons, daughters and other family members?

The accountability of man touches every area of our lives; the Ten Commandments make this clear. It’s not only the things we do or don’t do, it even extends to our thought life, which may or may not be revealed in this life. The tenth commandment deals specifically with the thoughts of the mind, the psyche. All these things come into play as we interact with others in our daily routine.

Are we ready to be held accountable? Are we ready for the verdict about our lives and the way we have lived? Are we seeking to glorify our creator and king or fulfill our own desires? Now that’s a lot to think about!

Comments or questions, contact me at: thoughtsonword@gmail.com.

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Lyndon Stimeling, of Richfield, has been writing about faith and family for many years. He has self-published two books, “Common Thoughts on The Word” in 2016 and “Eye of a Needle” in 2017. He has also had articles published in The Coming Home Journal and local newspapers and has written a children’s book.

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