Accountability: ‘But They Did It Too’

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But they did it too‘ is no longer a mentality based on age and maturity, but rather an issue of one lacking accountability.

— Cie W.


Picture this…

A group of school-aged kids playing around and engaging in mischief. One child, who happens to be apart of the group gets caught, while the others managed to get away. The one child is reprimanded for his or her behavior, but instead of seeing his or her role in the situation, he or she responds: ‘But they did it too!

This type of response is expected—-because it came from a child. A child is often too immature to understand the consequences of his or her wrongdoing. So, what’s the excuse of adults who still carry the mentality of But they did it too?’ From this prospective, ‘But they did it too‘ is no longer a mentality based on age and maturity, but rather an issue of one lacking accountability. But, it may also be factors such as family, friends, and culture that may have a major impact on one’s actions.

Generational reasoning

Many times, we stand by our actions based on what we’ve learned from our family dynamic. If our mother, father, guardian, grandparents, siblings, etc. behave in certain ways within a specific context, we are likely to adopt those same behaviors when encountering a similar situation. For instance, if your parents believe that having a ‘screaming match’ is an acceptable way to solve conflict, then you may inherit that same communication style when in conflict with someone. However, as a child of God, we must recognize that certain behaviors, like responding to conflict with wrath, is sinful in nature and can lead to unwanted consequences.

Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Psalm 37:8 KJV

It’s easy to defend bad choices according to the generational habits of our family dynamic because it has such a major influence on our personality, communication, and most of all, our beliefs. But when you decide to commit to the ways of God, there is no wiggle room for using your family upbringing as an excuse for wrongful actions.

Peer pressure

Many of us spend a lot of time with friends and acquaintances outside of the family dynamic, which can serve as another influential trap into making bad choices. Our friends often have influence in how we carry ourselves, especially if we’re inclined to seek validation or self-worth through the approval of man. If your friends often like to drink and go to wild parties, you may feel compelled to engage in the same activities to feel accepted by your peer group. Surely, the excuse of your actions will probably stem from the fact that your friends do it too! Nonetheless, according to God’s word:

He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.

Proverbs 13:20 KJV

When you hang around folks whose lives do not align with the Word of God, you are putting yourself at risk of taking on behaviors that are not approved by God. With this, you must question whether fitting in with your friends is worth hindering your relationship with God.

Cultural expectations

Society, our communities, and even our ethnic groups can be an excuse for our actions. Culture, whether societal or based on race can play a factor in what we perceive as acceptable behavior. Because everyone in our tribe upholds certain ideologies, we may feel obligated to adopt those views as our own. This can be in the form of racism or biasness against others, or participating in immoral activities because it fits the cultural norm. But, regardless of cultural expectations, the Word of God must take precedence over our lives.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Romans 12:2 KJV

Although culture is a significant influence in our behavioral choices, it should not be used as a constant excuse for making the wrong decisions.

Generally speaking…

We all sin and make mistakes—-that’s a common fact. But when we’re constantly justifying our actions based on the influence of others, we are avoiding accountability to take the heat off ourselves. Despite the potential consequences, many of us feel comfortable in making bad choices because the people around us are doing the same. Yet, having accountability allows us to evaluate our own actions and wrongdoing outside of our connections with others. Indeed, the most important aspect of having accountability should be that we’re seeking the approval of God and NOT the approval of man.

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