Accountability; August 4, 2018

John 19:11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”

God’s provision sometimes involves some strange things. He gave Pilate authority to crucify Jesus! Just because something has been given doesn’t necessarily mean it should be used, and in any case, how it is used is certainly our responsibility. This calls for humility and obedience at all times. Parents have authority over their children. If they use that authority to train them up in the way appropriate for them, (Proverbs 22:6) the child will feel loved and affirmed and God will be pleased. However, if they insist the child be a surrogate for their own dreams and ambitions, or worse yet, an outlet for their anger or even perversions, then they will certainly have to face the consequences when they stand before God in the Judgment. Some people today insist that parents have no such authority. The current absurdity is that they are not even to insist on the child’s biological gender. Again, all such things must be answered to before God, just as Pilate faced. Apart from authority, God gives abilities of all sorts. Again, we are responsible for how we use them. The vast majority of evil in the world comes from people misusing the abilities God has given them. It all comes down to accountability. Whenever God gives us something, we are accountable to Him for what we do with it. The famous parable of the talents comes to mind. (Matthew 25:14-30) As that parable points out, not using what God has given is not a good option! If we ask, He will give us the wisdom and guidance we need to make the use He intends of whatever it is, (James 1:5) but we need to tune our hearts to inquire and obey.

This is an issue that has loomed large in my awareness because I feel God has given me so much. I have a wide variety of abilities, and only a fraction of those have been developed. I am currently preparing for a photo show in just over a week, and I find that to be something of an analogy for my life. Each year I limit my exhibit to pictures taken within the previous 12 months, but I still have extreme difficulty narrowing the selection down to a manageable number. Even now, we have more pictures in frames, even, than we have wall space, and yet we have more pictures than we have frames! In response I have tended to draw back, effectively saying “I took and printed the pictures, and that’s that.” That is enormously unfair to my wife, without whom I could never mount these exhibits. I am accountable to her and I am accountable to God, not just for taking and printing the pictures but for what happens now. The same thing may be said about my musical ability, my literary ability, my linguistic ability, and on and on. As comes out in the parable of the talents, God is after faithfulness, and that is how I will be judged. I am very aware of my need for the grace and mercy of God!

Father, I do thank You for Your provision of everything, and for Your grace and mercy most of all. Help me never take any of Your provision lightly, but make the use of it that You intend, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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