Me, myself, and I. I can do bad all by myself. It’s all about me, forget about you. Worldly phrases we’ve all heard before that assert our independence from one another and our need to only be concerned with ourselves.
But God calls us to a different standard – He calls us to live lives of love towards our fellow brothers and sisters. He calls us to live in community – walking side by side with the same goal of spreading the Gospel. He calls us to hold each other accountable.
I know all too well the struggles of being held accountable. As someone who came to know Christ in college through a women’s ministry, I was thrust from an independent, private lifestyle where you don’t share any of your personal struggles with other women to a group a women who were willing to help me through those struggles. And those struggles were great and many when I was coming to know Christ – including not forgiving an abusive ex to struggling with maintaining purity to letting go of my old ways (such as partying and drinking). As a growing Christian, I needed to be held accountable, but I oftentimes ran from accountability.
The struggle of being held accountable is real! Our very nature is to be independent and private – holding back those very things that need to be exposed.
If God desires us to hold each other accountable, why do we avoid it so much?
Here’s 3 reasons why:
Accountability requires letting go of pride.
We’re independent. We think highly of ourselves. We believe we don’t need anyone else’s help and that we can solve our problems on our own.
In order to be held accountable, we have to let go of pride. We have to admit that we don’t always do the right thing. And we have to be willing to accept help from others in order to defeat our sins. Without help from other believers, we are fighting losing battles that no one else knows we are fighting.
Accountability requires transparency.
It requires being vulnerable and opening up about the deepest parts of you – your sins, your past hurts, those secret things you try to bury deep in your mind hoping no one else finds them. And I’m not saying you have to open to a room of people, but find one person or a small group of people you can trust, who will love on you, and push you towards Christ.
Like many people, I was broken and torn up inside when I came to know Christ. I had just broken up with a guy I had dated all through high school and the early part of college. That relationship was nasty – it was abusive (physically, verbally, and emotionally) and overly sexual – and the break up was even nastier! It left me broken and in need of healing. And for a long time, I held all that brokenness inside.
Eventually, with God’s help, I was in a small group of about 5 women who I really trusted enough to open up and share about my broken past. I cried tears the first time I told this group of ladies that I had been in an abusive relationship. That transparency was difficult, but it began my healing process. And I had sisters beside me who prayed for me and loved me through that process. Without transparency, there is no healing!
Accountability requires time.
We all have busy schedules, but we make time for those things we feel are most important. Accountability should be one of those things. Make time to meet up with those who are holding you accountable – whether it be a meeting over coffee, a phone call, or just meeting that person where they are.
For instance, when I was in college, I was busy studying, being involved in campus organizations, and working part-time. I had a college professor as a mentor who was even busier teaching, working towards tenure, and being married with kids. We met where we could – on-campus, in her office for about an hour once a week. She held me accountable for growing up spiritually – she asked questions about what I was reading in my Word, where was I spending my time, what was going on in my personal life with guys, family, and friends. That accountability helped me grow so much in those years. We were busy, but we made time for what we felt was important!
Don’t let time keep you from being held accountable. Life is busy, but find a way to stay in contact with your accountability.
What do we miss out on when we’re not being held accountable?
We miss out on being lovingly corrected. The Bible says in Gal. 6:12 (NIV), “Brothers, if someone is caught in sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently…” Our brothers and sisters are there to lovingly correct us when we are wrong – to restore us gently and help us get back on track.
We miss out on encouragement. The Body is also there to encourage one another – to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24 NIV). This Christian race can be a long, hard one – full of many uphill battles – but we have the encouragement of those who are running this race along side us.
Don’t miss out on the loving correction and encouragement you need in this race because of a lack of accountability.
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