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.
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.
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.
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.
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?