Thursday, November 11, 2010

Real Accountability

"As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another."
-Proverbs 27:17

I am convinced that men crave and need accountability but very few ever truly experience it. Accountability (my definition) is choosing to be real with someone and inviting them to consistently ask you tough questions about where you are at in your life, holding you to the standard that you ask to be held at.

Notice that my definition puts the onus on the one wanting accountability. Accountability forced on someone doesn't work long term. Real accountability must be embraced for it to work. When I meet with couples in premarital counselling I will ask them where things are at in their physical relationship but when it comes to further accountability I offer it but don't demand it. It is a courageous path and it must be freely chosen. And when it is, it is a beautiful thing.

Someone shared with me recently about how they wanted to ask for deeper accountability from some friends but they were afraid. First, they were afraid to ask. It's hard to ask someone for such a big commitment of time, engergy, and potentially awkward questions. We naturally feel bad to put someone into that situation. Secondly, we are afraid to be truly real. If I ask someone to ask me the tough questions then I will actually have to answer them! I don't know about you but admitting doubt, impure thoughts/actions, sin, etc is not very fun. I want people to think well of me. Thirdly, accountability is tough because if someone asks us the tough questions and we answer honestly then we then feel the need to take action. Choosing to change something that we know is wrong can be incredibly difficult. Lastly, accountability takes time and hey, we have such busy lives, right?

Yet, if we really want to grow, if we really want to mature, if we really want to throw off sinful behaviors and replace them with Christ-like ones then choosing the way of accountability is where it is at. It is the road less travelled. Personally, I have only experienced consistent, chosen accountability for a few very short times in my life but wow, were they ever powerful! The iron of my soul was sharp. My prayer is that someday I am courageous and blessed enough to find it again. How about you?


Joel said...

I am not a preacher or have no more than basic Bible school, but I am so passionate about confession and accountability than my Pastor put me on the pulpit one Sunday to preach it to our church. The power of confession to one another is a important part of church community that we tend to leave out. Probably because satan hates it and gives us plenty of lies and fears that we buy into.

I meet with my brother every Monday morning a 6am to confess and hold each other accountable to change. I am certain that in order to grow spiritually as men, it has to be a must in our lives. I honestly couldn’t go without it now.

Something that I cant describe happens when I confess out loud to God and to another human, other than to say its good for the soul.

James 5:16 confirms this.

thanks Joel

Joel said...

*that my Pastor*