Here are five accountability questions to ask yourself today and every day.
How Much Time in Prayer and in the Word?
I try to discipline myself to pray before I get out of bed and then to read my Bible before I have any breakfast. My own flesh wants to resist that, but I hold myself accountable and ask, “How much time have I spent in prayer today? How much time have I been in the Word of God today?” Most of the time the answer is “Not enough!” but at least it is some time spent as opposed to no time. I honestly can’t remember the last time I went a day without starting out with prayer and Bible reading, and the last time I did, I probably felt miserable and convicted. If I don’t get into the Word of God daily, the Word of God won’t get into me.
What’s My Priority?
Is my goal or priority to make friends, influence people, and gain in popularity, or is it to glorify God and try to be an effective witness for Christ? I believe we were created to glorify God and to help in rescuing those who are perishing. If my goal is anything other than that, then I am holding myself accountable and must “reboot” my day, start over again, and zero in on why I am here and what I am to be doing. Jesus sought to glorify the Father, and the Father wanted to glorify Jesus (John 17:1, 5), so shouldn’t that be our goal, too, and isn’t that why we were created?
What’s My Earthly Ministry?
Our first earthly ministry next to our ministry for the Lord is to our family. In fact, the qualifications for being a shepherd depends on this because he “must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church” (1 Tim 3:4-5), and “a deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well” (1 Tim 3:12). Since all believers basically are ministers of God, we must make sure that our families are our first priority, next to God, and that absolutely includes our spouse. Have I spent time with them today? Have I told them I love them? Have I helped them in ministering or serving them today?
Praying for Others?
It is so easy to tell others that “I will pray for you” and then forget all about it. I ought to know; I’ve done it. I often head to bed late at night and stop and think, “Is there someone whom I told I’d pray for? If so, have I?” I am accountable for what I said I would do. Samuel said in his farewell address to Israel, “as for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by ceasing to pray for you” (1 Sam 12:23). If I say I will pray for someone and don’t, then that is sin to me and I have just lied to someone who really needed me to pray for them after I had promised them I would. That hurts! Please forgive me for those times, Lord. Help me to remember to keep my promises.
Evaluating the Tongue
This is one of the hardest things to manage: the tongue. What were my words used for today? Were they judgmental? Were my words edifying for others? Did my words build up or tear down? The tongue is one of the smallest members of the body, but it can set an entire forest on fire (James 3:6). It can do a lot of good, but it can do a lot of harm, too. We can bless people with it, but then curse them, too (James 3:9-12). I need to constantly inventory what my words were today and what they will be used for tomorrow. Ask yourself, “Did what I say today help others or hurt them?”
We are all going to have to give an account someday for everything we’ve ever done and every idle word we speak (Matt 12:36). That’s a sobering thought, isn’t it? I want to be holding myself accountable for what I do today because God will.