Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Accountability

I am on Day 58 of Reading the Bible in 90 days. I will say that I would not be able to achieve this without the help of my friend Natalie. We decided to take on this challenge together and also be accountability partners in regard to this.

Natalie is an excellent accountability partner. Mainly because when she does something, she does it right. No cutting corners. Exactly the kind of accountability partner I need!!

We text each other or send an email to each other every day checking up on one another. Occasionally we will make funny comments about what we are reading, especially during the dry parts. We have also shared our favorite parts. And often she or I will text each other: "behind 2 days. Pray for me!!" or "got no reading done today!" or "you can catch up!" And we do!

I have learned during this challenge that having an accountability partner is essential to Christian living, especially when trying to overcome something or facing a challenge.

God did not leave us on this world to walk alone. He gave us Jesus and the Holy Spirit to guide us, but also our fellow believers to fellowship with and live in community with. This is an extreme blessing and should not be taken lightly.

I John 4:21 says: "And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother." This is a command that we must follow. God made us to live in community with each other, and Christian accountablity is one way we can do this.

Opening ourselves up, being real
When you choose to have an accountability partner, you are choosing to open yourself up and be vulnerable to someone. Sometimes it could be about sharing extremely sensitive or personal information. Confessing sin is part of this process, especially if you are trying to overcome something. I felt comfortable with Natalie as my accountability partner because I knew that I could tell her the truth: "I am behind by 6 days.." and she would encourage me and urge me to continue to read. Just having her support helped me read even when I did not feel like it at all. It made me not want to give up.

Relating to each other
Christian accountability involves an intentional attitude of relating to each other. We must pursue each other with intention. Deep friendship and relationships do not just "happen". They take careful thought and prayer and intention. Relationships are hard work! As an accountability partner we must be willing to be "on call" for each other, to encourage, pray, or talk to one another when we might need it. We must also communicate with each other. We cannot expect to form close bonds when we are only checking in once a week or once every 2 weeks. I found that by checking in with Natalie every day that it made me more focused on my task at hand. Frequent interaction is the key.

Ann Kroeker writes in her book Not so Fast: Slow Down Solutions for Frenzied Families:
"Intimate relationsips generally don't flourish without some dedicted time one on one. They need slow moments of focus and attention."

The Bible and Christian Accountability
The Bible says that God holds us accountable. Romans 14:12 says, "So then each of us shall give account of himself to God." This is personal accountability.
Christians are also accountable to one another. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12 it says that Christians are all part of the same body - the body of Christ - and each member needs and belongs to the other.

Galatians 6:1-2 says: "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."

The Bible also says we should encourage each other: Hebrews 10:24 says: "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds." 1 Thessalonians 5:11 says to
"…encourage one another and build each other up…"

Asking ourselves
Are you accountable? Do you have a friend to whom you can go? Are you the type of person that people can come to when they need accountability? Do you want a Christian accountability partner?

3 comments:

Natalie said...

Andrea,

I love how clearly you explain accountability in this post! To me, it was one of those Christian-ease words that I never clearly understood for a long time. Thank you for your kind words about me :) You are an awesome accountability partner! And in the interest of accountability, I am 2 days behind.

Joyfultoria said...

Excellent. So true. I agree, I love how you explain things very clearly.

Christine said...

Great post! I had an accountability group (about 4 of us) when I was in graduate school. Pursuing performance at a conservatory can suck a Christian dry- so easy to become self-absorbed in that kind of environment. We were each others' lifeline and it was amazing! I don't have something like that now but would love another prayer/accountability partner in the future.