Christian Accountability - A Need for Support
Accountability is essential for any society to function and Christian accountability is no different. We are all held accountable in one way or another. For example, there are laws to obey and if we fail to be obedient, we may have to suffer the consequences set by the officials who hold us accountable. Accountability is simply being responsible for one's actions.
There are several accountability groups that specialize in assisting people who would like to overcome an issue, addiction (including sexual addiction), or other tendency. As humans, we find support, comfort, and motivation from others who are struggling with similar life circumstances.
There are Christian accountability groups as well. Christians need support and comfort and often find this through Christian accountability. There are two essential elements to accountability: trust and the ability to relate.
Christian Accountability - The Essential Element of Trust
In order to establish Christian accountability, there needs to be trust. Developing trust is a slow process and it takes time to develop and grow. As people meet together to share, they begin to establish a rapport with one another. How is this accomplished? Let's see what the Bible says.
Active listening is essential to developing trust. James 1:19 says, "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry."
A non-judgmental attitude is another essential element. Remember, we can be accepting of an individual while being discerning of the situation. Matthew 7:1-2 says, "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."
Caring for each other is also essential. 1 John 4:21 says, "And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother."
Accountability involves a willingness to open yourself up and share sensitive or personal information. This is why trust is so imperative. If you sense trust, you are more open to share your innermost thoughts without concern of betrayal.
Christian Accountability - The Essential Element of Relating
Relating is an important factor in Christian accountability. It is helpful when the group shares a common bond or has been through similar experiences. People who relate to one another can empathize and share with an understanding heart. People can feel comfortable in sharing their circumstances, and can be totally accepted without fear of rejection.
Christian Accountability - Biblical Guidance
Does the Bible speak of Christian accountability? First of all, 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, we read that Christians are all part of the same body - the body of Christ - and each member needs or belongs to the other. This Scripture suggests the importance of strong accountability between Believers. It is important for every Believer to have at least one other person in which to confide, pray with, listen to, and encourage.
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 him gently, forgive him, and comfort him. It also admonishes you to consider yourself because no one is above temptation.
Another aspect of Christian accountability is encouraging each other to grow in their spiritual maturity. 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…"
Are you accountable? Do you have a friend to whom you can go? Will that person hold you accountable in your spiritual walk? Are you the type of person that people can come to when they need accountability? Do you want a Christian accountability partner?