Muslims are accountable to pray in public five times a day. If they don’t people will notice and questions will be asked.
This kind of public peer pressure is the same thing that drove the Pharisees to be who they were. Being seen to be righteous was way more important to them than actually being righteous.
It’s a form of legalism. It leads to judgement and pride. It is grounded in the Old Covenant way of Law. It has no value in the New Covenant way of Grace.
Read Galatians 3 and see if you can summarise it in a sentence or two.
I’m pretty sure that if you’re honest you would have to end up with something like “We are not under Law but under Grace”.
Galatians 3 makes it very clear that the Law was for Jews. And even more, that it is not for Christians.
“Oh foolish Galatians. Who has bewitched you to have no confidence in the truth?”
“Are you so foolish? Having begun by the spirit you’re now being completed by the flesh?”
The spirit is power for Christians. The flesh is death.
Accountability derives its power from the flesh.
So. How can you live a more righteous life?
You can’t. You don’t have the power to do that. (Kind of the point of the gospel isn’t it really).
But Jesus can. He did it once. He wants to do it again in you.
You need to give him authority to do that. You need to get out of his way so he can do that.
And you need to let him choose the timetable and the game plan.
We always seem to want to set the agenda for how Yahweh should be cleaning our life up.
He knows our sins. He knows us. He knows our strengths and weaknesses. He knows our circumstances.
Seriously. Can you think of anyone who is better placed to decide the best way for doing this?
Yahweh wants to conform your character into that of his son. But you have to let him choose how to do that.
I read an amazing prayer from John Wesley recently.
I put myself wholly into your hands: put me to what you will, rank me with whom you will; put me to doing, put me to suffering, let me be employed for you, or laid aside for you, exalted for you, or trodden under foot for you; let me be full, let me be empty, let me have all things, let me have nothing, I freely and heartily resign all to your pleasure and disposal.
Are you willing to just hand over control of your life to Jesus and trust him to deal with the manifestation of your sins in his time?
Then do that.
Don’t try to manipulate it. Don’t start making laws and rules for yourself. Just relax and hand yourself over.