If there is a missing ingredient in most Christian lives, I would guess that it would be desiring accountability from one to another. A life characterized by vulnerability, teach-ability, honesty, and availability, is one that embraces accountability. This person is one who humbly walks with God, is open to being challenged by other’s counsel, and is willing to lovingly confront others when necessary. There is no greater gift than to have such a friend.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body” (Colossians 3:12-15).
As Satan first tempted Adam and Even in the garden, he continues to do so even more today. Now more than ever, the deceiver is confounding and confusing the hearts and minds of God’s people. Many Christian leaders, including pastors, have chosen to gather around them those who do not have a solid biblical worldview or the courage to confront when the gospel is pushed aside to make way for man’s, not God’s vision. The Bible tells us we fight a war not of flesh but of the spirit, against powers and spiritual forces that threaten us.
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12).
Knowing we are in a battle against the forces of darkness, we should want as much help as we can gather around us, and this may include making ourselves accountable to another believer who can challenge and encourage us in our struggle. Paul tells us that we must equip ourselves with all the power that God supplies to fight this battle: “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand stand” (Ephesians 6:13).
Satan is real and is on a mission to destroy our faith in God. He is smart and crafty. He knows our weaknesses and will attack us anyway he can trying to break down the truth God has built into us. During times of trouble, he tempts us to make bad decisions that could hurt ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually. We want to do what is right, but we are weak. Where do we go for help? Yes, we go to God, sometimes with the help of a righteous friend.
“Therefore, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16)
“Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend’s countenance” (Proverbs 27:17).
“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:1,2)
“Therefore, encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing” (1 Thessalonians 5:11).
When a friend is struggling, are you praying for them and contacting them to make sure they are all right? When is the last time you had a friend call you just to ask how you were doing? When is the last time you called a friend and asked her if she needed to talk? Encouragement and moral support from a friend are often overlooked in the busyness of life.
Being accountable to one another can bring comfort and courage to do the right thing. Accountability with the right person can be helpful in the battle to overcome sin. A friend who encourages you, rebukes you, teaches you, rejoices with you, and weeps with you is a gift from God.
“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother” (Proverbs 18:24).
“Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!” (Psalms 133:1)
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now” (Philippians 1:3-5).