Accountability (Stop pointing the finger)

Published 10:06 am Monday, March 20, 2017

by Darnell Whitfield

Since the dawn of time when the man Adam was asked by God, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” Genesis 3:11 (ESV)

After Adam’s act of disobedience that caused him to fall from grace, he shirked his duty as a responsible adult and pointed the finger at the woman, Eve, and said to God, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Genesis 3:12 (ESV)

And if that is not bad enough we find the woman not taking responsibility for her actions in Genesis 3:13 (ESV): “Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

And we have been pointing the finger at someone else for our failures ever since.

Everyone wants to blame someone else for their bad decisions and failures. For instance, when you watch the news and some criminal has been killed, the first thing that the family wants to do is paint the criminal as someone, “about to change his/her life.”

My question has always been: If the person was about to change their life why was he/she involved in criminal activity at the time they were arrested or killed for their actions?

The answer is simple: The parent, usually the mother, removes the responsibility from their incarcerated or deceased criminal family member and shifts the blame on the society at large.

I have seen this same unaccountability in the church.

People who should be an example to the rest of the church and society will blame someone or something else for their misfortune or failure. For example, whenever a person makes a wrong decision — especially in the area of finances, paying a bill, and so on — and things don’t turn out the way that they had hoped, they will not take responsibility and point the finger at the Devil.

That reminds me of the Flip Wilson television show from years ago when one of his characters would say, “The Devil made me do it!”

Listen, I believe that the Devil, Satan, Beelzebub, Slew-Foot, the Accuser or whatever you may call him, does try to entice all people, whether saved or not, to make wrong decisions; however, we all have free will and ultimately we make the final decision as to whether we will do what is right or wrong.

The Apostle Paul in Romans 6:6 (ESV) “We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.”

Once we have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and savior of our lives, Satan’s hypnotic power over us no longer has us in his grip.

We can make better choices to better ourselves, we can choose to imitate Christ in every aspect of our daily walk in life.

We can choose to love rather than hate, we can choose to take care of our families, love our spouse and raise our children.

We can choose to educate ourselves so that we don’t make ignorant choices that bring destruction to ourselves and others around us.

Proverbs 19:2 (ESV) says, “Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way.”

It is sickening to hear a person blame the government, other races of people, the other gender, the other age group, or even God himself for their failures in life, because doing so will cause you to remain stuck in a vicious cycle of not being able to move forward in life, career and love.

As it states in Romans 14:12 (ESV), “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

Friend, Adam and Eve were accountable for their actions. Every Christian, Gnostic, Buddhist, Muslim, and sinner is accountable for their own actions and must take responsibility for their actions whether good or evil.

Take that finger that you use to point at someone else and point it at yourself.

My mother, Evangelist Thelma Whitfield-Eley, and my deceased pastor as a young man, Elder Linwood Stokes, instilled in me that I am responsible for my actions and attitude.

Mothers and Fathers, become responsible parents, preachers, teachers, government workers and janitors. Let’s become responsible leaders and workers to change this negative world around us into a place of positive peace.

We can do it, if we want to.

Just stop pointing the finger and take responsibility for your own actions.

DARNELL WHITFIELD is senior pastor of Diamond Grove Baptist Church in Franklin. Contact him at 742-1343 or