One of the best things you can do to grow in your faith is to be accountable to someone. But, if you are like me, you are not sure what that could look like. Continue to read as I share with you how to find Christian accountability so you can continue your spiritual growth.
What does being Accountable mean?
To make sure we are all on the same page, I want to start by going over what accountability means and why it’s important.
Being accountable simply means being answerable or responsible for decisions we make, the actions we take, and the assignments completed.
So in the business world, if you are given a project to complete by your boss, you are responsible for completing it. You have to answer to your boss and give him an account of your process and the “final product”.
In the Christian world, we see God as the ruler of our lives. He calls us to do many things. We are responsible for being His church and to act like Him. We will then one day give an account of what we have done with the gifts and tasks He has given us.
Why is accountability so important?
As believers, we are responsible to God for what we are called to do as His children. When we don’t take those responsibilities seriously, we are rejecting God’s sovereignty in our lives.
Not only that, but our actions speak louder than our words, so if we say we love God, but we don’t act like we do, not only are we not obeying God, but we are being a bad witness to Christians and non- Christians.
So it’s important that we encourage each other to follow The Lord in what we do, say, act and think.
So, now we have a better understanding of what accountability is, and why it’s so important.
How to find Christian accountability so you can continue your spiritual growth
Growing up, accountability wasn’t talked about a lot. When it was, the one thing I remembered was the encouragement to have an accountability partner.
Ideally, this would be someone who was a bit older in their faith who you could talk to about your faith, and any struggles you may go through. They then, would follow up and see how your doing, and encourage you in your faith.
When I first heard about this concept, I fell in love with it right away. I knew I wanted someone who I could have this type of relationship with.
But over the years, I’ve prayed off and on for an accountability partner and never got one.
I began to think that maybe there was something wrong with me and didn’t understand why the answer to my prayers wasn’t a yes.
Through the years, The Lord has shown me that I had put God in a box. I had a very specific idea of what I wanted accountability to look like, but I wasn’t able to see anything else. This then would turn to disappointment when my idea never worked out.
To be honest, even though I liked the idea of accountability, I hated the idea of reaching out to people and being vulnerable with them.
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Reaching out to others
Anytime a speaker encouraged us to find an accountability partner, they would suggest we could reach out to older/wiser women and ask them to hold us accountable.
The idea of picking up a phone and initiating that sort of relationship SACRED me.
I hate calling anyone for anything.
Ask my husband. Anytime we need a babysitter, he’s the one making the phone calls. When we want to have people over, He is the one making plans.
I’ve gotten better at starting these exchanges and sending texts to feel so much less intimidating, but it’s still something I struggle with.
So, I fully acknowledge that my fears and personality are a big reason for having an accountability partner never worked for me.
The Lord has since shown me that, like anything else, accountability doesn’t just look one way. There are many forms of accountability.
What I wish someone had told me about accountability
But I wish someone had told me accountability could look different and I could find the accountability I needed without causing anxiety.
As I was preparing for this session, I’ve unearthed so many cool things that I want to learn more about. And, hopefully, teach others more about it as well.
So, I am not an accountability genius. I’m still learning as I go, but I wanted to share just a few things that might help you get started.
I’m going to share with you 2 different people we are accountable to, and what that may look like.
Remember, this is just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much to learn about this topic.
2 different people, we are accountable to
1. We are accountable to the global church
The Bible gives us a beautiful picture of the church by comparing us to a physical body.
But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. 21 And the eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you”; nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. 23 And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, 24 but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, 25 that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. 26 And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it1 Corinthians 12:20-26
There is so much good stuff in these verses! I’m not going to go through each one, but I do want to highlight a few things.
- There are many members
- We need each part in the body
- There should be no division in the body
- When one part of the body suffers, all members suffer
As Christians, we are all part of one body. So our actions, and thoughts affect not only ourselves but the entire body of Christ. Because when one part of the body suffers, all members suffer.
So, how often do we think about the entire body of Christ – The universal church- before we say something, do something, vote a certain way?
Are we taking care of the entire body? Or are we only taking care of the parts we think are important?
These are important questions to ask yourself and other Christians around you.
My emotions got the best of me
I’ve been very convicted about this in the past couple of years.
Never in my life have I seen such hatred and division in the Christian church.
It breaks my heart.
I don’t say it to condemn others, but to admit I’m not immune and it’s been something I’ve struggled with.
My feelings got away from me for a bit and I had some anger and resentment towards other Christians for holding different views than mine.
When COVID hit, each country/province/city created its own policies. It was a very trying time for many people, but especially the church.
There were people in my church who felt very strongly and didn’t agree with the decisions the church leaders made.
Many people left churches because of the restrictions leaders chose to follow or not.
This is not a story about what “side” I’m on, but it’s about how our feelings and reactions divide the church.
I started getting angry at Christians who felt differently than me.
I couldn’t understand how we could both love God and have such opposing views.
I couldn’t justify having such different beliefs and worshipping the same God.
But, through this whole COVID business, the Lord showed me I was letting these differences and feelings get in the way of my worship to The Lord and my relationship with Him.
I had to let go of the feelings I was having and I had to let The Lord do His work in my life, as well as others.
Because, here is the kicker– we are still one body. And when the body starts attacking itself, it’s not a good sign- in our physical bodies it’s a sign of declining health and it causes so many more problems. When one system fails, it’s only time before another system fails.
I knew my feelings were causing disunity, this was mostly in my heart, but it also came out in some of my words and behavior.
The Lord led me to lay my feelings down and focus on worshipping God together- even those who have such different views.
And let me tell you, it hasn’t been easy. It feels like there’s one thing after the other trying to divide us and make opposing teams. But I know I’m accountable to The Global church- because the actions of one member affect the next and so on.
So, one way we can be accountable to each other is by asking ourselves: Are my actions bringing the church together, or are my actions dividing the church? What can I do/ change to bring unity?
These questions are for me, maybe for you.
Christians are Accountable to God
- 2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive the things done in the body, according to what he has done, whether good or bad.
At the end of the day, we can fight each other until we are blue in the face, but one day- we will all stand in front of God and give an account of what we have done- whether good or bad.
That truth alone challenges me to think about the way I spend my time, how I’m using the gifts God has given me, and how often I’m reaching out to unbelievers and sharing my faith.
If we are saved, then this judgment shouldn’t scare us. Because NOTHING can separate us from God. There will be no new information- God has already seen everything we have done and everything we have thought of. He’s already paid for that sin and forgiven us. No new fact can tip the balance the other way.
If our actions don’t affect our salvation, then what’s the point of this judgment day?
This is a totally fair question and I believe that even though our actions don’t affect our salvation, they will affect heaven.
Now, before I go into this part, I need to admit that I haven’t studied this much and my thoughts are based on what I know of The Bible and the verses I read.
I may be 100% wrong about this, so if this is something you want to know more about, I encourage you to study it for yourself.
My opinion is based on the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-29. I know it’s a bit long, but I think it’s important to read the whole thing.
The Parable of the Talents: Matthew 25:14-29
14 “For it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted to them his property. 15 To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
So, right away- we know this parable is about an owner and his servants. He gives each servant a different amount of $$ and then goes away.
In this parable, God is the owner, and the church is the worker.
Talents are a unit of $$ worth about 16 years’ wages: When we are saved, The Lord doesn’t give us $$, but we read in scripture that God gives each Christian a spiritual gift and that they are not all the same.
We see that with how much $$ he gave to each servant.
16 He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them, and he made five talents more. 17 So also he who had the two talents made two talents more. 18 But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.
Each worker could choose how to use their talents, 2 people used what they had, and doubled the original amount. Then the third worker buried his talent. This could be a picture of a Christian not using what The Lord has given them.
Each Christian is called by God to do certain things. It’s then up to us how we use those gifts.
Are we using them to increase the Kingdom of God or not?
19 Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them. 20 And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here, I have made five talents more.’ 21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 22 And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here, I have made two talents more.’ 23 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’ 24 He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, 25 so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here, you have what is yours.’ 26 But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sown and gather where I scattered no seed? 27 Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. 28 So take the talent from him and give it to him who has the ten talents. 29 For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance. But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.
So we see that each servant has been given something by the master, they each had the opportunity to use it how they wanted. Then when the master came back- they each had to answer for what they did with what they were given.
As children of God, we are each given a certain amount of time, money and abilities. God has entrusted us with those things and it’s up to us to decide how we are going to use it. Then one day, The Lord will come back and we will have to account for what we have done with what we’ve been given.
So it’s important that we look at our lives and ask:
- Is this increasing what The Lord gave me or not?
- If you don’t like the answer- what can you do to change it?
How do we find accountability?
We find it through our relationships with other Christians, and we find it in the truth of God’s word and the promise that one day we will give an account of what we have done with what The Lord has given us.
As I said, I feel like this barely scratches the surface about accountability, but if I can leave you with 2 things, it’s this.
Accountability can look many ways, and at the end of it all we are ultimately accountable to God- so what do we want to report?
Do you have a personal and thriving relationship with The Lord?
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