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Transparency and accountability

By Fr. ROY CIMAGALA, roycimagala@gmail.com
March 12, 2019

IF we want our life to be good, we need to develop a keen sense of transparency and accountability. These traits assure us that we are on the right path. That is to say, we have nothing bad to hide, and more, we are seeing to it that we are responsible for what God has given us, making these God-given gifts fruitful and productive.

A good sense of transparency will help us develop and sustain our integrity in life. It means that everything that we do is good, that is, morally good. This sense of transparency can only take root when it is based on our faith in God who sets all the laws in our life, and therefore, all that is good for us.

Besides, God actually sees everything. Before him, nothing can be hidden. We therefore have to adapt a lifestyle that would make us do everything in his presence. In fact, we are not simply meant to do things in his presence. It is more to do everything for God’s glory. Thus, when we do things without God in mind, let us be warned that we are already doing things wrongly.

We should not base our sense of transparency on human, natural and worldly criteria alone. These latter standards do not capture all the good that is proper to us. At best, they may just be silent about the finer nuances and consequences of what is generally good for us. We have to remember that many mysteries shroud our understanding of things.

But what is bad is that our human laws and worldly standards have started to go against God’s will. This, of course, can be due to our limitations in truly understanding God’s law. But it can also be due to our sinfulness and malice. Nowadays, I believe it is the latter that has led us to make laws that are openly against God’s law.

We can try to do something about this problem by teaching the children to be transparent always, first to God, then to their lawful authorities: their parents, teachers, elders, etc. And with the adults, let us remind them often of the importance and the great many benefits that a working sense of transparency brings.

The same with the sense of accountability. This has to be inculcated in the children as early as when they can be understand it. In the gospel, many are the references that talk about this need for accountability. One is the parable of the talents where a master gave his three servants different amounts to do business with while he went away. (cfr. Mt 25,14-30) The master asked for an accounting when he returned.

We even have to account for the words we speak, as attested in this passage of St. Matthew’s gospel: “I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (12,36-37)

St. Paul in his Letter to the Romans also said that “each of us will give an account of himself to God.” (14,12) And in his second letter to the Corinthians, he said: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil.” (5,10)

We have to prepare for this judgment when we have to give account of what we have done with what God has given us. Let’s remember that God has given us everything that is good to us, even the way to recover our dignity as children of God once we lose it due to our sins. He has given us life, talents, the theological virtues, mercy, etc.

We should be ready to face God to give an accounting of our life with eagerness, not with fear.

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