Everyone requires accountability. We need someone with whom we have a spiritually accountable relationship before God that is not neglected. No one is immune to sin in this life and frequent attacks from the enemy of our souls. The Apostle John’s admonition in his first epistle is true of us all: “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us . . .If we claim we have not sinned, we make Him out to be a liar and His word has no place in our lives. There is, I believe, some equivalence between John’s admonition here and thinking we can combat sin in our life just as well on our own, minus the help of other believers. When thinking this we deceive ourselves while turning a deaf ear to the warnings of Scripture and the evidence of history. In essence, we make the Lord out to be a liar when we claim we do not need accountability. Even Peter needed Paul. (Galatians 2:11f)
I had a conversation this week with one of our recent graduates about the accountability relationships which have been established at the Christian college he is attending. I praised him for the humble and wise attitude he expressed with gratitude for these arrangements; arrangements that could be considered by some a time consuming pain and an obnoxious irritant to the “freedom we think we relish. I told him each one of us ought to have a similar accountability established with some trusted and godly confidant(s), because each of us are susceptible to sinning, even though the power of peculiar sins vary in persons and circumstances or stages of life.
One of the constant bombardments of the Enemy on your mind is I am strong enough to do this myself, and I do not need to be sharing intimate details of my life and thoughts with anyone else in order to withstand the arrows of the Deceiver. Pride always precedes a fall; just ask some of the fallen. And remember that those falls most always precipitate ruin, pain, and wreckage strewn in its path. Healing may eventually come, but not without peripheral damage to more people than we considered before we acted. No man is an island, and our lives are connected in one way or another to a far greater crowd than we realize. Accountability is in actuality a blessing with promise rather than unwarranted intrusion into our private inner sanctum.
The Bible’s “Lettuce Patch found in Hebrews 10:19-25 has some choice instruction not only for the larger body of Christ, but for the smaller body of those with whom we are linked for active accountability, even if but one or two others: “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.
It is not that we do not have the time to invest in a relationship of mutual accountability; it is that we cannot afford to not do it; the stakes are simply too high and the rewards are too great to ignore doing it.
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