Replace Tolerance with Loving Accountability

Oct 3, 2017

If you are a sensitive, loving person…then you may have a tendency to affirm your accountability partner and others even when they err. This point of accountability application may be hard for you. I understand, because confronting others is difficult for me.

Tolerance can be the opposite of accountability. Tolerance is a national epidemic. It is politically correct to tolerate another person’s view or behavior regardless of its compatibility with the truth of God. No wonder we live in a confused world. Without accountability to God’s Word, we sail the rough sea of life with no anchor or compass. Thus, any direction is correct if it is the direction you wish to go.

God’s Word is the standard for living. If you tolerate a position or behavior that is inconsistent with God’s Word, then you believe there is another standard for living equal to God’s. If you are caught up in the tolerance movement, then you are putting the affirmation of man ahead of the truth of God. I believe God’s first commandment settles this issue: “You shall have no other gods before me” (Exod. 20:3).

Holding others accountable to the truth of God’s Word does not suggest you must be rude or hateful in your confrontation. To the contrary, Paul wrote, “Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up in him who is the Head, that is, Christ” (Eph. 4:15). We have the truth, and the truth does not need our heavy-handedness to have impact. The truth of God only needs our availability. Confront, but do so gently and with a loving spirit.

Mark’s Discovery. Sharon worked for a mid-sized insurance company. Her boss, Mark, was a believer with a soft heart for others. He really liked Sharon and felt she had a great future with the company. However, Mark discovered, by accident, that she had embellished her expense account. Thinking the overstatement was an isolated incident, Mark chose to overlook it. In time, the magnitude of the problem grew until Mark believed the problem was so big that to confront Sharon would certainly mean her dismissal. Again, Mark chose to tolerate the problem. One day Sharon made headlines. Her problem culminated in her arrest on embezzlement charges.

Did Mark cause Sharon to embezzle? Certainly not! But he possibly could have prevented the theft if he had intervened early on instead of tolerating it. After her arrest Mark visited Sharon and attempted to share Christ with her. To his surprise, Sharon was not interested. She knew Mark was wise to her expense report trickery yet did nothing about it. In Sharon’s view, if his God was not big enough to help her then, He certainly was not big enough to help her now. Employing loving confrontation early on – immediately – is the Christlike action to take.

Fred’s Folly. Fred is a Christian and the CEO of a large company. All of his life Fred has suffered from anger and a bad temper. His employees would come to work each day wondering if this would be their day to receive one of Fred’s famous screaming fits. Hal is also a believer and works for Fred. One day Fred explained to Hal that his yelling was scriptural. Because Jesus threw people out of the temple, Fred believed he was free to wreak havoc among his employees. Hal tolerated his boss’s misguided view. One day, a coworker asked Hal about his faith, saying, “Why do you follow a religion that is so mean-spirited?” The coworker went on to explain that she had witnessed their boss, Fred, chew someone out, then, a few moments later, he was overheard talking about a program at his church. Hal got the message, and that night he researched Fred’s favorite Scripture. Finding no reference to Jesus being angry, and after much prayer, Hal confronted his boss.

Hal’s actions were scriptural. When Paul and Silas arrived at Berea, they visited a synagogue and taught the Scripture. The Bereans “received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true” (Acts 17:11). Can you imagine holding Paul accountable? The Bereans did it, and the result was the conversion of many Jews. Your obedience to Scripture can have a similar impact. Become accountable.

Written by William Nix. Excerpted from Transforming Your Workplace for Christ.   Used by permission. Content distributed by > Used for non-profit teaching purposes only.