Accountability: an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or account for one’s actions in a transparent manner.
Sit tight. Hang with me to the end, okay?
First of all and above all, we are accountable to God. Romans 14:12 says, “So then each of us shall give account of himself (herself) to God.” This speaks of our personal accountability to our Lord. As Christians, we are also accountable to one another. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, we read that Christians are all part of the same body – the body of Christ – and each member needs and belongs to the other. This Scripture suggests the importance of strong accountability between believers. It is important for every believer to have at least one other person in which to confide, pray with, listen to, and encourage.
Do you have a Christian friend to whom you can go for accountability? Will that person not only hold you accountable but also encourage you in your spiritual walk? Are you the type of person that will hold another accountable and encourage them when they need it?
Galatians 6:1-2 gives a helpful principle, “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore that person gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” If your accountability partner has done something contrary to the Bible, you are called to confront her gently, forgive her, and comfort her. It also admonishes you to consider yourself because no one is above temptation.
As I mentioned, Christian accountability is also about encouraging each other to grow in their spiritual maturity. Hebrews 10:24 says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says to, “…encourage one another and build each other up….” Caring for each other is essential. Make sure your accountability partner knows you love her.
In order to establish Christian accountability, there needs to be trust. Developing trust can be a slow process for some. Often, but not always, it takes time to develop and grow. As people meet together to share, they begin to establish a rapport with one another and that trust grows or can be quickly destroyed.
So why am I going into all this about accountability today? I am personally reaping the benefits of having a new accountability partner. I’ve had partners in the past and it’s always been helpful, but I haven’t had a true accountability partner for awhile. Now of course I feel accountable to all of you in the big picture sense. I also have close friends who pray for me and I for them, and I am thankful for that, but this is going a step further.
For about the past month, my new accountability partner and I have met weekly (sometimes in person, sometimes on the phone). We have quizzed, encouraged, and prayed for each other. We have been real and honest with each other. Knowing that this is coming each week has challenged me to make sure I don’t skimp on my quiet time with God in prayer, in His word and so forth. Sometimes there are personal action items that I need to address also.
I can honestly say that this has helped strengthen my faith and my daily walk. I feel her prayers for me. I thank my Father for her. I have been both humbled and refreshed through those prayers. I cherish them and I cherish her, but most of all, I love my Lord. It is to Him I am most accountable and having a partner reminds me of that.
I want each of you to pray about having an accountability partner or small group. (It needs to be a person or persons of the same sex.) Here are some sample questions that you can use to get started with your partner or small group:
1. The most important thing we can do each day is spend time with God. How many times did you have a prayer/Bible study/devotional time this past week? What did that look like for you?
2. What did God teach you from his word this past week?
3. What sins did you battle this week? Do you see any battles coming up this week? (If you are seeking to obey the Lord, expect opposition. Expect obstacles. Expect difficulties. But also expect God to see you through.)
4. Did God give you any victories this week? What?
5. Did you share your faith this week? How?
6. How is your family life?
7. How can I pray for you this week?
Let me know if you have questions or concerns about this.
You’re the best!!!
“But my life is worth nothing to me unless I use it for finishing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus—the work of telling others the Good News about the wonderful grace of God.” Acts 20:24 (NLT)
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