"Accountability is one of the means God uses to bring about solid growth and maturity with the freedom to be what God has created us for." ~ J. Hampton Keathley, III
As Christians we need to hold one another up to the Biblical standards of what is right and wrong. We must build relationships with other Christians who will help us honestly evaluate our daily walk with Christ and encourage us to walk in obedience to God no matter the cost. Without accountability we do not grow spiritually.
We need others to help us see the areas in our lives that are not in line with God's Word. When we're making stupid or destructive choices we need Christian friends who will speak up and lovingly but firmly tell us that what we're doing is wrong. We need friends who will open God's Word and show us where we've failed. Friends whose motive is not to put us down or judge us, but who truly want us to mature in our spiritual walk. Friends who don't make excuses or justifications for our sinful behavior, but are willing to be bold and call it what it is.....sin.
Accountability to others is God's design to help keep us accountable to Him. Accountability is not always easy or pleasant. There will be times when we do not like what is revealed in our behavior. But spiritual growth can be painful. It requires a daily dying to ourselves and our own agenda.
As a parent, I am to hold my children accountable to God's Word and the rules of our home. While my parenting choices are between God, my spouse and me, we also have other Christian parents who we can turn to for advice and accountability. These Christians love us and our children and encourage us to make the hard choices when that's what obedience to God requires.
I want the Christian adults in my children's lives to hold them accountable as well. If one of my teens makes bad decisions, I want their small group leaders, youth pastors, pastor and other adults who mentor them to hold them accountable. If their actions are excused or ignored, then they will not grow in spiritual maturity. They will continue down a destructive path of focusing on self instead of God.
"To believe you can make disciples or develop true maturity in others without some form of accountability is like believing that you can raise children without discipline, run a company without rules, or lead and army without authority. Accountability is to the Great Commission what tracks are to a train." ~ Bill Hull
Accountability is so vital but unfortunatley in our society it seems to be considered a bad thing. So many times people see it as "being judgemental" or "self-righteous". When accountability is done the right way, it promotes spiritual growth and maturity.
Howard Hendricks, professor at Dallas Theological Seminary said, “Every man should have three individuals in his life: a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy. A Paul is an older man who is willing to mentor you, to build into your life. Not someone who’s smarter or more gifted than you, but somebody who’s been down the road. Somebody willing to share his strengths and weaknesses—everything he’s learned in the laboratory of life. Somebody whose faith you’ll want to imitate. A Barnabas is a soul brother, somebody who loves you but is not impressed by you. Somebody to whom you can be accountable. Somebody who’s willing to keep you honest, who’s willing to say, 'Hey, man, you’re neglecting your wife, and don’t give me any guff!' A Timothy is a younger man into whose life you are building. For a model, read 1 and 2 Timothy. Here was Paul, the quintessential mentor, building into the life of his protege—affirming, encouraging, teaching, correcting, directing, praying. "
I want my husband and sons to have these three individuals in their lives. These three men can help them grow more in their spiritual walk then I can as a wife and a mom. I also think this applies to moms and daughters as well. We need our own female mentors, soul sisters and disciples.
The Christian walk is difficult and we need others to travel with us, warn us, encourage us, and sometimes even carry us. 1 Thessalonians 5:12- 14 says "Now we ask you, brothers and sisters, to acknowledge those who labor among you and preside over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them most highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. And we urge you, brothers and sisters, admonish the undisciplined, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, be patient toward all."
Are you open to the warnings from other believers? Are you lifting up brothers and sisters during their time of need? Is there someone you should be mentoring
I am a Christian, a wife, a mom, a VBS crafter, a coupon clipper, a thrift store shopper, a football fan, a cook, a student of the Bible and an avid reader.