Accountability, when addressed within the church, is often referenced as some kind of intimidating tool designed to help you manage your sin. It has the potential to be downright scary, right? Today, we want to take a fresh look at this spiritual discipline and see how it can actually bring joy to the Christian life.
We see accountability as a tool for two things: helping each other with struggles and celebrating with each other in victories. When you find someone you can trust and can show honest vulnerability, accountability suddenly doesn’t seem so daunting. Instead, you might find yourself craving it!
You know that best friend that you tell EVERYTHING? Maybe you have a parent that you go to for advice in difficult situations. Perhaps you even have a teacher, mentor or coach that is already helping you think through tough situations or celebrating with you through your accomplishments. Those are all small steps that, without you even knowing it, have prepared you for healthy accountability.
[x_blockquote type=”left”]We see accountability as a tool for two things: helping each other with struggles and celebrating with each other in victories. [/x_blockquote]
Christian accountability just takes friendships and relationships a step further. It looks at both victory and struggles through the lens of the Bible. Rather than praising each other for successes and accomplishments, pray together and praise the Lord for His provision in our lives, reminding each other that it’s not in our strength that we accomplish anything, but rather, everything works together for our good because of the great love that our Father has for us.
Christian accountability also seeks to encourage each other to grow in faith. Sometimes it requires us to call each other out on poor decisions, which can be uncomfortable. But no matter the challenges that come from this discipline, accountability is so valuable in helping us grow and become stronger Christians.
Finding Accountability Partners
The first thing to know about accountability partners is that there is no such thing as overnight vulnerability. You don’t make a best friend in just a week, and you most likely won’t have 100% trust established with your accountability partner right away. It takes time, so try to be patient and allow the process time to work.
Take stock of your friendships. If you already have a close friend whom you trust and holds the same Christian values as you, consider asking him/her to be your accountability partner. The best kind of accountability relationships are the ones where both persons serve each other. When you team up with someone close to your age, you can both hold each other responsible for decisions, encourage one another in faith, and celebrate similar milestones together!
[x_blockquote type=”left”]The best kind of accountability relationships are the ones where both persons serve each other. [/x_blockquote]
You can also enlist the help of an older adult to serve as an accountability mentor. Start by noting any older people in your church that you might already look up to and have a relationship with on some level. Seek those people out and ask if they would be willing to serve as your accountability partner.
Remember that this is a HUGE responsibility. If someone is unable to say yes to you, don’t be discouraged; instead, thank them for their honesty!
Pray, Pray, Pray
Pray that the Lord would guide your search and bring you to the right person for this new adventure. Most of all, pray that your time together would be blessed with safe trust and open conversation and that God would be glorified in your pursuit of obedience.
And as you step forward in faith, be ready for the Lord to use YOU in exciting new ways. He might just call you to serve as an accountability mentor for someone else, perhaps a middle school student or young teenager in your school or church. Be open to what the Lord has in store for you!