Personal Camera Accountability

I was read an interesting article about one big change when cops wear body cameras. For the record I think body cameras are a must for police in 2016. I also think police need to release the video as soon as there is a controversial shooting. Accountability and honesty are good for all. Instead of allowing the media to dictate the narrative police should release video quickly. If there is wrong they should be held accountable. If there is more to the story they should show us. That’s just my opinion.

But this post is not about police body cameras. It’s about something I read in the article. The article stated…

“The idea behind the study is simple: people who are being observed – and know it – change their behavior. Researchers suggested that cameras encourage best behavior on the part of both the officers and the public.”

That’s an important discovery. People change their behavior when they are being observed. Now, I’m not advocating we become a society like in the book, 1984 by George Orwell. The idea of “Big Brother” watching is scary as all get out.

But there is something to the findings of the research on body cameras for police. Another quote that stood out to me was…

“The theory is that cameras make police officers more accountable for their actions, because people tend to change their behavior when they believe they are being observed.”

Integrity is who you are when no one is looking. The problem is even someone with high integrity is prone to wander. No one is perfect. Good people make really bad decisions when the pressure is on and they do not feel they will get caught.

This is something Christians should be aware of.

Hypocrisy doesn’t exist because we are imperfect. Hypocrisy exists because we believe we can get away with it. Very few will judge a person for admitting they struggle. A severe judgement comes when Christians pretend not to struggle and then get caught.

As Christians we need more accountability.

We need to be honest with our struggles.

The question is, when the pressure is on what stops you from falling into sin?

With zero accountability the temptation rises 100%. If there is a thought that you might get caught it changes your behavior. Why? “Because people tend to change their behavior when they believe they are being observed.”

It’s way too easy to act holy in a church service or small group.

As a pastor accountability is something I struggle with. No one asks the pastor what they are struggling with when it comes to sin. When a group of pastors get together sin often becomes a general term. We “struggle” with things, but very few people come out and name the sin they fell to.

I have Covenant Eyes on my computer for accountability. This is something I am convinced every Christian man should have. But there are other areas of accountability that are difficult to manage because no one is watching. See if you can relate to any of these.

Time.

Feeling like there is no time to do what is really important. It’s so easy to say, “I’m so busy” and yet still manage to find time to get on Facebook or watch Netflix. Who keeps us accountable with your time? Not doing what needs to get done, when it needs to get done is an integrity issue.

Words.

I have seen so many Christians say one thing behind someone’s back and something totally different to the person’s face. That’s wrong and we need some accountability with our words.

Money.

There is a great temptation for people to be dishonest with their finances. Specifically if you are married. Way too many people find ways to hide purchases from their spouse. This is wrong. Spending money on things your spouse doesn’t know about is a recipe for disaster. It’s so easy to buy things we don’t need, spend money irresponsibly, and not put it towards what really matters. Without any accountability you can be shady and hope no one finds out.

Thoughts.

Who watches our thoughts? Our thoughts can be so deceptive and wrong. We can become a prisoner of our own thoughts. When you have thoughts that are contrary to how Jesus sees you, or wants you to act who keeps you accountable?

All of us love freedom, but often we mask freedom as an excuse to do what we know we shouldn’t do. If “people being observed – and know it – change their behavior” then Christians need to be invite others in to observe us.

We often talk about “Doing life together” but Christian community is more than a social club. It’s a place where accountability can truly happen. It’s a place where we can grow because we can become inspired to be better. It’s a place where we can become more like Jesus, because after all He sees all we do.

Is accountability something you invite in or resist? What would make accountability easier for you?

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Rob Shepherd

I am the full-time husband of a wonderful woman! I love being married! We are proud parents to twins, Hayden and Reese. In my spare time I am the pastor of Next Level Church. I have a relationship with God and it is an adventure. Oh and I wrote a book. It's called Even If You Were Perfect Someone Would Crucify You.

4 Comments

  1. Karen
    October 4, 2016

    Thank you for the blog. Great reminders. Accountability. That’s a big one. And the capturing of thoughts. Just today I was really struggling with my thoughts. I could feel my patience level being really low with drivers all the way to work. I eventually reached out in a popcorn prayer for help with them. Not sure if it’s because of the stress of thoughts of the upcoming storm, or a migraine, (not trying to justify) but I was embarrassed by my own impatience and spiritual immaturity. When I got to work, I saw one of our housekeepers hug our vendor stocker, and offer to help her with carrying merchandise. My heart melted. And she really put things into perspective for me. It’s not about me, even though I was on the “me” me me path this morning.

    Reply
  2. Lauren Cory
    October 4, 2016

    I have one friend who keeps me accountable. She knows about 99% of my sins. It’s hard, because there are times that I still want to resist telling her when I’m struggling with sin. I don’t know why I resist, because at this point, through all the stuff she has walked with me through, I know she will love me and not judge me. But it’s still in our instincts to want to hide those things. I definitely think that we as Christians need accountability. It takes a relationship to a whole different level when you are able to be vulnerable with someone about your weaknesses, and vice versa when you are on the other side needing to show a friend grace and Truth.

    Reply
    • Ron Pelton
      October 4, 2016

      May I use these words of wisdom at this afternoon’s prayer meeting?

      Reply
      • October 4, 2016

        Ron, is this question about the post or Lauren’s comment? If it’s about my post feel free to reference it in your prayer meeting.

        Reply

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