Today’s post is part of a series I am publishing monthly, Sisters in Spirit.
Sisters in Spirit is a series of blog posts by a group of women who felt that a spiritual perspective was lacking from the steady stream of news and information that flowed through their daily lives. They each agreed to carve out a space on their blogs on a monthly basis for a spiritual conversation. The topic this month is: Accountability.
As I have considered this topic I’ve come up with a few things I want to say up front about accountability in a Christian context:
- Accountability is NOT a chance to judge others.
- What you get out of accountability is directly related to what you put in to it – brutal honesty (first with yourself, then your accountability partner) is the best policy.
- Accountability shouldn’t be optional in a Christ-follower’s life.
- Be wise about who you’re accountable with; just because you’re good friends doesn’t automatically mean you’ll be good accountability partners.
Over the years in my Christian walk I’ve had different accountability partners and different levels of accountability. They have ranged from rigid, structured meetings with specific questions to loosely planned occasional gatherings that just “went with the flow.” I can honestly say that while the former may have twinges of legalism in it, those meetings were probably more productive toward meeting the goals of accountability.
Speaking of which – what are the goals of accountability?
Personally I think Christians should meet with other Christians in this context for the purpose of being truthful about struggles and sin patterns for the purpose of fleeing from these traps and clinging more tightly to Jesus through the process.
So what does that look like?
Well, it’s mostly ugly. I can’t browse instagram too long before I start judging people based on how they look. So I don’t get on there often.
It’s often tearful. I fear loneliness and yet I face it often.
It’s brutal. Brutally honest. Brutally raw. Sometimes I want to cancel all my online activities (facebook, pinterest, this blog) and just hide from the world.
We’re broken. We’re sinful. Some of our ugliest sins are the ones we hide deep down.
The ones no one ever sees. I cuss more often than I’d like to admit when I’m alone driving in my car.
But HE sees.
He longs to save us from the snares of death.
But we put up a hand and tell Him, “I don’t need you to do this. I’ve got this. I have it under control.”
We lie. We lie to Him. We lie to ourselves.
The Liar wants nothing more than for this to continue.
Accountability breaks this cycle. If you’ll let it. If you’ll come to it ready to bare your soul.
Ready to be stripped of all your masks, all your facades.
Find someone you can trust. Someone who will ask you the hard questions no matter what.
Then, spend time getting real with yourself and coming up with the questions you need to be asked.
Have you murdered with your thoughts today? Have you had lust in your heart? What did you think about today when you were browsing on the Internet? Have you spent time in The Word?
Tell them the truth when they ask.
Stop making excuses. Start making changes.
I hope you continue this conversation by reading and commenting other perspectives on Christianity with my other Sisters in Spirit. Become part of the conversation:
Kelli is a United Methodist. She is a writer and public health advocate. An Arizona native, she and her boyfriend newly live in the woods of New Jersey. Their dog, Willie Nelson Mandela, runs the show. She blogs at: www.africankelli.com
Sarah is municipal attorney, mom to a toddler boy, and United Methodist’s pastor’s wife. (She does not play the organ.) She is a life-long Missouri girl with a heart for hospitality and social justice. Sarah enjoys cooking, running, knitting and embroidery, reading, and playing in the sprinkler. Sarah blogs atwww.beautyschooldropout.net
Rhonda is an attorney and native of Missouri. She is known for being overly-emotionally invested in her three, elderly dogs and dabbling in a ridiculous amount of hobbies, including sewing, music, and writing, while mastering none. She was baptized in her late twenties and is amazed and grateful that Jesus continues to put up with her. She blogs at bigsnafu.com.