In Daniel chapter 5, we read an amazing story about some mysterious writing on the wall in the king’s banquet hall. Daniel is called to interpret the words from God that appeared during an over the top party for the movers and shakers of the kingdom. The words were meant for the king but we also come to realize their message is for all people. From this we learn a lesson that all human beings are accountable to their creator for the lives he gave them.

Scriptures
Daniel 5:1-30; Ephesians 5:15-15; Hebrews 4:13

Verses
As they were drinking, they gave praise to their idol gods, which were only statues made from gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood and stone. Suddenly, a person’s hand appeared and began writing on the wall. The fingers scratched words into the plaster on the wall, near the lampstand in the king’s palace. The king was watching the hand as it wrote. King Belshazzar was very afraid. His face became white from fear, and his knees were shaking and knocking together. He could not stand up because his legs were too weak. (Daniel 5:4-6)

Thought
Many people struggle with accepting responsibility for their actions. They don’t want to be held accountable for the choices they make in their lives. There’s a strong human dynamic at work here which is: we avoid responsibility for knowing the truth because we want to do what we want to do. The truth is that every person who has ever lived will someday stand before a holy God and explain how they lived their lives.

Questions
What are some reasons people avoid taking responsibility for their actions? How does it make you feel to know you’ll have to stand before God and explain how you lived your life? What can we do to help our children realize the importance of accountability?

Response
Since the Bible warns us that we’ll all stand before God in eternity, we should wise up while we’re still alive. We should stop making excuses for our actions by covering up, exaggeration or misrepresentation. We would be smart to get rid of strategic avoidance in our lives which is to avoid thinking about, reading about or talking about anything which might convict us or call us to change before it’s too late.

Prayer
Dear Lord, help me to be more responsible and accountable for my actions and decisions. Show me what I need to do now so that the time I stand before you in eternity will not be one of sorrow and regret but one of joy and fulfillment.