Responsibility Versus Giving An Account

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Hi S____,

I think you have done a wonderful job of making yourself clear. In the process you have made a distinction between the Biblical concept of giving an account and the unbiblical concept of being accountable as that word is defined in our English dictionaries.
Your example of my use of the phrase ‘give account’ was very revealing:

Thank you for pointing out to me that the bible does not say ‘we must all give an account’. It does say ‘ we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ…’ You are right. There is a world of difference between being “held accountable” and “giving an account”. The one places responsibility on us, while the other simply has us giving an account of what God has worked through us.
Christ does tell the unjust steward that he must “give an account of your stewardship,” but as you point out, judgment has already been made that “you may no longer be steward.”

Luk 16:2  And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear (already) this of thee? give an account (a word) of thy stewardship (management of my house, what you did); for thou may be no longer steward.

Indeed, I have had people send me those very dictionary definitions in frustration, not understanding the distinction between giving account and being responsible.
Since the Lord Himself tells the steward to “give an account of your stewardship” I can now see the difference between “giving an account” and “all appearing… that everyone may receive,” and I can see that saying “you are accountable” is not the same as “giving an account.” I want always to have that “pattern of sound words and I appreciate your help in that regard. I hope this helps others to see what is the mind of God regarding this subject.
As far as one of us sharpening the other, I hope we let “iron sharpen iron” as we are always able to both give and receive admonition.
Thank you for your words of admonition on this subject of the difference between being accountable and being responsible. According to Webster’s definition which makes accountable the same as responsible, I must be very careful never to say that we ‘are accountable’ and rather say that we will all “give account” of our stewardship and of what we do in this body.


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