Romans 15:1-2

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.

5. Judgment is reserved for God. Only God knows man’s heart to the core. Only God’s know what man has said to him. So we have to be careful that our comments, our thoughts, and our actions do not appear to be judging someone. Until we take the time to get to know someone, to build a relationship with him or her, to build up trust so they are more likely to accept your advice, it will always come across as judgment. 

Matthew 7:1-2

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

So how do you know when to hold someone accountable? When do we need to step in and say something? Should we discuss it with others first?

I pray about it first. If someone's sin or negative action is affecting your ministry, your church, your community, your family, etc. you will have to, at some point, deal with it. If you are not sure, you can involve your pastor or other trusted counselor - but be careful with whom you discuss it. Not every battle in life is yours to fight. Sometimes I don’t feel led to be the one to approach that person. I instead leave it for God to deal with. God may have someone else in mind that might be better equipped. But I can continue to pray for that person.

Remember, accountability in life is not only about becoming a better person, a stronger Christian and follower of Jesus. It’s also about building up the body of Christ so that we are stronger against the enemy.

So when someone comes along your way (in love and sometimes not in love) and holds you accountable, bite your tongue, listen, pray and discern if it’s something you need to deal with or change, and ask for forgiveness.

1 Corinthians 16:13-16

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love. You know that the household of Stephanas were the first converts in Achaia, and they have devoted themselves to the service of the saints. I urge you, brothers, to submit to such as these and to everyone who joins in the work, and labors at it.

Kris Swiatocho is the President and Director of Ministries and Ministries. Kris has served in ministry in various capacities for the last 25 years. An accomplished trainer and mentor, Kris has a heart to reach and grow leaders so they will in turn reach and grow others. She is the author of three books: Singles and Relationships: A 31-Day Experiment (co-authored with Dick Purnell of Single Life Resources); From the Manger to the Cross: The Women in Jesus' Life; and the most recent, Jesus, Single Like Me with Study Questions (includes a leader's guide and conference/retreat of the same name). Kris is currently working on her fourth book: FAQ's of Singles Ministry coming this fall 2012. Ministries helps churches, pastors and single adult leaders evaluate, develop and support their single adult ministries through high-energy speaking engagements, results-oriented consulting and training and leadership development conferences and seminars. Click here to request a FREE "How to Start a Single Adult Ministry" guide. Ministries is Kris' speaking ministry. If you've ever heard her speak, you know that Kris is the kind of speaker who keeps the crowd captivated, shares great information and motivates people to make a difference in the lives of those around them! She speaks to all church audiences on everything from "first impression" ministry to women's topics to singles and young adults. She can speak on a Sunday morning, at a woman's retreat or for a single adults conference. Bring Kris to your church today!

Publication date: October 23, 2012