Seven friends and I are on a health journey together. It’s a high-level accountability eating and exercising program. Each day we check-in to tell how much we ate that day, and often what we ate. We also share whether we got up off our blessed assurance and moved our bodies! We pray for and encourage each other. If someone does not check-in by the evening, one or more of us “hunts them down” to see if they are staying on the journey.
As I was shopping in the grocery store yesterday, I ran across a great deal that I rarely see. The deli was running a half-off special on their delicious peanut-butter filled pretzel squares. I immediately picked them up and put them in my cart. In my mind, I was already eating those pretzels while watching a good football game or a good movie.
As I continued walking around the grocery store, I could hear the voices of my accountability partners: “Now, you know you don’t want to eat all that junk.” “Put them back on the shelf.” “This is not good for the journey you are on.” I also was doing a little self-talk: “You know that you either have to lie tonight when you check-in, or you have to tell them that you made a very bad choice – intentionally made a very bad choice, one that will set you back on your journey.”
Finally, just before I went through the checkout line, I walked over to the deli and put the high-fat, high-calorie snack back. I knew that I needed to be careful about my choices concerning what I brought into my house. Thank goodness for my accountability partners! They have challenged me to do the right things so I will thrive in the physical realm.
There is a lot of discussion of whether we, as God’s people, need to be accountable to anyone besides God. My answer is a big, resounding YES!
Some of us have bad connotations about what accountability is. Accountability is not about confrontation or control. We may, at times, need to be confronted and to confront another, but accountability is more about challenging one another to grow in Christ. Accountability helps line us up with the warning precepts that God has given us, but it also offers support, counsel, encouragement, and affirmation.
What might have been different had these people in scripture turned to someone who was strong in God:
- What if David had told someone he was tempted to sleep with Bathsheba and wanted them to hold him accountable?
- What if Judas had told someone he was in talks to betray Jesus for a little bit of money?
- What if Samson had allowed someone to tell him that he was looking for love in all the wrong places, and that particular relationship would take him down a road of destruction?
- What if King Saul had a trusted person to whom he could say, “I’m fighting jealously where David is concerned, and I’ve getting too haughty in my God-given role?”
- What if Lot would have turned to a godly person and said, “I’m getting pulled into Sodom, and I want you to walk closely with me to be sure that doesn’t happen?”
- What if Ananias and Sapphira had gone to strong believers with whom they had built a close relationship, and said, “We are tempted to be hypocritical, and make people think we are so spiritual, when we really are not?”
We will never know how differently things would have turned out in those situations, because none of them went to an accountability partner.
Are you accountable? Do you have strong Christian friends to whom you go? Will that person(s) hold you accountable in your spiritual walk? Are you the type of person that people can come to when they need accountability? Whose voice will say to you, “Don’t bring that into your house?”
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another-and all the more as you see the day approaching.” Hebrews 10:25