He does not live the rest of his earthly life for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God. ... But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. —1 Peter 4:2-5
Did you know that Jesus was always accountable? He was the Son of God, yet He was accountable to His Father the whole time. Paul used the little phrase in Romans 15:3, "even Christ did not please himself." Everything Jesus was doing, He was looking up to the Father, getting His approval and instructions. He said, "I seek ... to please ... him who sent me" (John 5:30).
Now we know that we are accountable to God. We are not our own. There is also a sense in which we are accountable to each other. Both are evident when we consider some of these verses that we like to sweep under the carpet. Jesus said in Matthew 12:36:
I tell you that men will have to give an account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.
Now when this matter of accountability grips you, I will guarantee you one thing—you will change. Knowledge of your accountability will change the way you live. You will watch your conduct, you will watch your attitude, you will watch your words.
If we really believed that, we would change, but we do not like to take verses like that. We would like to just cut them out and not have to worry about them, but this is part of humbling ourselves: that we take all of God's Word seriously.
That is the way our Lord got His joy, and it makes me wonder, have we learned the joy of just pleasing God and getting our approval from Him?
Excerpted from Meekness and Majesty (Christian Focus Publications Ltd., 1992, 2000).