Accountability…

February 10, 2011 § 9 Comments

Deep down that word makes me cringe. It makes the inner rebellious child in me stand up and say, “I don’t need anyone to tell me what to do.” It is hard for me to swallow the truth that I need help.

The bottom line is that I like to think I have it all together and I don’t need someone to speak truth in my life except for God.

There I said it. It is ugly. It is pride. I don’t like it about myself.

So for years I had this debate going on inside me. I knew I needed someone to keep me accountable, but who? How do you decide? How do you open up the ugly parts of yourself to someone? I feared rejection, I feared the ugly would make others think less of me. I feared my response when I didn’t live up to the accountability.

So essentially pride and fear kept me from obeying God. As I searched for and prayed for someone to help me. Someone I could do accountability with, God started speaking to me. Here is what I discovered:

Accountability is either specific or organic. Specific is you come to a friend and say, “Please hold me accountable for _____________ .” Then set up times to get together and talk about it or text each other.

The organic kind is sticky, but it happens when you and a friend are chatting. It happens in sharing the stories of your lives together. It must be wrapped in grace and left as a present. Your friend may not accept that present. Your story may be too raw or fresh, but if shared with love, given as a gift in grace, then you can leave that gift with him or her to open and use as he or she feels fit. If your friend does not use your gift of accountability and falls headlong into sin you lovingly speak of God’s grace. We all need it. Grace to get out of the pit we dug, grace to redeem our dirty messed up lives.

Accountability is God’s grace. It is His way of helping us avoid the pits of sin we are apt to fall into. I discovered that my fear was really pride. That my pride was sin and sin is exactly why I need accountability.

Tomorrow I will share a story of organic accountability. I hope you tune in to see what happens.

Do you have an accountability partner? How do you work that relationship out? Is it organic or specific? I would love to know your thoughts. Please leave a comment.

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§ 9 Responses to Accountability…

  • And thanks for stopping by my blog — hope my prior comment posted!

  • I love this.

    We all need God’s grace and it is only by His grace any of us are able to choose to play His notes and not our own.

  • D2 says:

    Huh, I don’t have a specific accountability partner, but I do have a couple of friends I put a lot of trust in to hold my innermost thoughts. Maybe I should ask one of them to be a specific accountability partner.

    I have issues with accountability because it involves a great deal with trust, and I have a hard time trusting people. I believe people are honest, but I’m not sure if they have integrity, if you know what I mean. Yet another facet of my personality that the Lord is working on…

    • You are right it does involve trust. If you feel God leading you toward an accountability partner go for it. If not, pray God gives you wisdom about your friends so that they can be sharpening you in the organic accountability way.

  • Tracy says:

    I wonder what to think of this accountability. I do not find it in God’s Word. I understand iron sharpeneth iron. I understand that in Romans 14:12 it says:

    So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.

    I wonder if this accountability crept into the church via confessing our sins to the priest? I do not see this in God’s Word. Can you share verses that back up this idea of being accountable to anyone other than our heavenly Father? We have the ability to go straight to our God and He sees everything we do. We do not hide anything from Him. We might like to think we do, but we do not. I know that Jesus Christ makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. I know that Jesus Christ is our mediator, but I do not see anyplace that tells us that we need to be accountable to other people.

    • I can understand what you mean Tracy. I think accountability falls under “iron sharpens iron.”

      The Israelites often confessed their sins out loud to each other. Consider Ezra chapter 10. However accountability isn’t really about “confessing” sins to to each other. At least not necessarily. Accountability isn’t saying that I am accountable to this person. It is about encouraging each other to do what God wants us to do. Ideally I wouldn’t need that external encouragement, but in reality, when I have outward accountability I am more likely to behave in the way God wants me to behave. That includes memorizing scripture, Bible study etc.

      The verse in Romans you are referring to is in context of being judgmental. It is the idea that God will convict me of certain things differently than He will convict others. Some will be ok drinking alcohol, but others are not. Those who drink should not look down on those who don’t and those who don’t should not look down on those who do. So the truth is yes, we are all accountable to God.

      Accountability for me means I have a friend who encourages me to memorize scripture or to help me with anger issues. She meets with me encourages me, and goes over verses with me, asks me how my day went (was I angry). This external accountability helps me…Heb. 10:24 Tells us to encourage each other to love and good deeds. Romans 15:4 tells us, “For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.” So the whole Old Testament which is full of others’ sin and God’s redemption and at times His judgment encourages us and gives us hope. Just as accountability encourages us and gives us hope to “sharpen” each other.

      I think of the Pharisees who never admitted to sinning, but they were so proud and sinful. Then I think about those who were clearly sinful, the tax collectors, the woman caught in adultery, etc. Everyone knew their sin, they were humble before men and God. I am not saying we need to confess everything to each other, but when we are not honest about our desperate need for Christ’s redemptive work on the cross, we seem to be more like a Pharisee. We are white washed tombs looking beautiful on the outside, but full of junk on the inside.

      1 Cor 11:1 Paul tells us to follow his example as He follows Christ….Titus 2:4 asks older women to encourage younger women to do what is right. Then 1Cor 12 talks about how we are all members of one body and how what I do affects the church as a whole. In that way I am accountable to God for my sin, but my sin affects others. In that way my brothers and sisters in Christ have a good reason to encourage me to live for God.

      Navigating this world is difficult and finding someone who struggles with the same sin I do, helps me learn from them and helps me live to please God in what I do and say. In that way I believe accountability is scriptural. There is no place that says you are accountable, but there are many places that encourage us to live Godly lives and be examples to each other. Our example is exactly what makes accountability work.

      I hope that make sense..What do you think?

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