Friday, February 24, 2012

Loving One Another - Accountability

Biblical Priority #6 – Love One Another
Loving One Another – Accountability
By Suzie M.

“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” Hebrews 10:24

Do you have someone who can hold you accountable?  Do you have another you can hold accountable?  Everyone needs someone in their life to help keep them accountable.  Romans 14:12 NIV says, “So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”  An account - you will be held accountable to God for everything you have said and done while on this earth.  What is accountability?  According to the dictionary, it means being “liable to being called to account, answerable.”   How will you answer God when he asks you?

Why do we need to be held accountable?  1 John 4:21 NIV commands us, “Whoever loves God must also love his brother.”  Do you love God?  Then you must love your brother, or sister, in Christ.  You cannot love God and dislike another person created in His image.  Loving another person means helping them by holding them accountable to their speech and actions. This must be done in a respectful and loving way without judgment for we are told, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged.  For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”  Matthew 7:1-2 NIV.

How much do you tell your accountability partner?  Everything.  This person needs to know everything about you the good, the bad and the ugly.  Females need to have a female accountability partner.  Males need a male accountability partner.  This relationship will take time.  You don’t have to spill your guts out the first time you meet.  Key elements are:  1. Build a relationship.   Get to know one another if you don’t already, build the rapport.  If it’s someone you are already friends with then they probably already know a lot about you.  2. Trust is an essential element.  This must be someone you trust and who trusts you.  She will be the person you go to when you don’t have anyone else to speak with when your marriage is falling apart.  When you can’t take your thoughts captive and keep thinking of another man.  When your children are lost and when a loved one is diagnosed with a deadly disease.  “A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy person keeps a secret.”  Proverbs 11:13 NIV

What advice will you receive or give?  Godly biblical advice.  If you are receiving any other advice, you need to walk away.  Advice should also be gentle and loving and covered in prayer.  Galatians 6: 1-2 gives a helpful principle, "Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." If your accountability friend has done something contrary to the Bible, you are called to confront her gently, forgive her, and comfort her. It also admonishes you to consider yourself because no one is above temptation.

Who should be your accountability partner?   Pray over this.  It is not always easy finding the right accountability partner, but the Lord wants you to have one so give it over and He will lead you in the right direction.  You might be like me and she might already be in your life.  She doesn’t have to be older or more spiritually mature.  God can use anyone to reveal His truth.  She may be the least likely person or the most likely.  “Encourage one another and build each other up.”  1 Thessalonians 5:11 NIV

Challenge:  Pray and seek God about an accountability partner.  Someone with whom you can be authentic, sharing God’s truth and love.  Make it a priority to ask them and then to meet with them.  Don’t put it off any longer.  Write it on your to do list today! 

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