When our oldest child was a toddler, my wife and I were baby bodyguards – never more than a leap away from rescue if she were approaching something potentially harmful. My wife still has that instinct (she’s a mom). I, however, have become a bit slower in my response time. Our 3rd child is now a toddler and if he is approaching something potentially harmful or messy, I first observe, assess, play out the possible outcomes in my mind, and THEN determine it’s worth getting up for.
Every now and then I pretended not to hear my kids speaking out of line or see them acting out of line. This way I figure I cannot be held accountable for correcting them. For example, if I leave the room at just the right time, I can plead ignorance when asked “Did you know the baby was in the cupboard?!”
You could call it pre-meditated ignorance. You can’t be held accountable for what you didn’t know, right? And as long as you are NOT in the right place at the right time, you may experience this bliss of ignorance (for a brief time).
I have been faced with a challenging reality in my life. In my church experience, I have not been held accountable. How many sermons have I sat through, books have I read, prayers have I prayed, without being held accountable for the action steps I was compelled (or commanded!) to take? When I go to church on Sunday morning and sit through a sermon and jot down some notes (assuming my notes are action steps, not interesting info points), who asks me later how I am doing on those things I wrote down? What consequence do I face if I fail to address problems in my life that God brings to my attention?
How many small group sessions or Bible studies have I sat through without anyone asking me “What are you going to do about it?” And then making me feel like I BETTER do something about it.
I find myself premeditating my ignorance. If I never tell anyone what I think I should do, I don’t have to be accountable to take that step. If I pretend I don’t hear God (or willingly plug my ears to Him) I don’t have to be held accountable to a command I never heard. I think that’s probably a dangerous way to live.
I may premeditate my ignorance in order to dodge accountability. But in the end, I will have to give an account for every deed and every word that came from us. At times I think I am clever when I dodge accountability. But I will one day find out it was not dodged, merely delayed. Accountability is inevitable. I would be wise to take advantage of it now while it still has an opportunity to influence positive change in my life.