(James 5:16a), ” Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed.”
Do you have someone to whom you can confess your sins, faults, frustrations, and concerns? Have you given anyone in your life permission to counsel, challenge, and rebuke you when necessary? This kind of relationship is what is known as an “accountability relationship”, and is repeatedly emphasized in the Word of God.
Throughout the Scriptures, people learned the value of leaning on one another for spiritual support and inspiration. Accountability is essential in order for us to grow and produce godly character and fruit. Accountability is the foundation for living a life that is pleasing to God.
A very simple definition of accountability means, “We are answerable to others; or answering to others for what we are up to.” Accountability is a check and balance system that makes us realize that we are liable, responsible, and answerable for our actions in life to others and to God.
Accountability allows us to be answerable to one another, focusing on key relationships such as with our spouse, close friends, colleagues, coworkers, a boss, small groups, or our pastor.
Having other people around whom you can trust and get to know more deeply will enable you to know yourself; your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities more deeply. You will be able to see in the mirror to your inner being and desires and see if they line up to what God has for you.
It is important to understand that accountability is not for just for those who are weak, for the needy, for those who have addictions, or for wimps; accountability is for the strong who want to be stronger and the unconnected that need to be connected. Accountability is for everyone.
The concept of accountability is as found throughout the Word of God. For example, King Saul was held accountable by the prophet Samuel; King David was held accountable by the prophet Samuel; Jesus lived fully accountable to His Father throughout His ministry, the apostles were accountable to Jesus, and Timothy was accountable to Paul. And we are told in (James 5:16a), “ Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed…”
Accountability enables us to share our lives with one another in a deep, introspective way and to grow in our character. We are all fallen creatures; saved by grace, but still fallen creatures. As Christians we have been righteous before God by our Lord’s work; however, we are still have a sin nature and we all have items and thoughts in our lives that diminish our relationship with God and our effectiveness with others. The process by which God has called us to embark upon to overcome our sin nature so that we might become more effective in our relationship with God and our fellowman is called sanctification. As Christians, we are in the sanctification process and practice of our faith, growth, learning, and maturity all the days of our lives. At the same time, we are still sinners and susceptible to temptation, spiritual warfare, and our misplaced desires. We have blind spots and need input from others to find them. If you really want to grow in faith and be effective in your Christian life, you must be held accountable; otherwise, you will fall, backslide, or be ineffective because of pride. Sin will get you; maybe not today, but tomorrow is still coming. Accountability is essential for every Christian to help reach his or her full potential;
Being accountable to others will Encourage us. Knowing that someone will ask about our conduct motivates us to do our best and encourages us to be good stewards of our time, talents, and resources
Being accountable to others will Exalt us. When we’re answerable to others, we are positioned for promotion. As those in authority review our work, they realize our potential.
Being accountable to others will Encompass us. Accountability inspires and protects us and those we’re closest to, which makes our relationships even stronger.
Being accountable to others will Evoke us. We must regularly face the truth about our attitudes and actions, and examine whether we are staying in the center of God’s will.
Being accountable to others will Enliven us. Being responsible to the Lord and others challenges us to maintain high standards, godly convictions, a transparent heart, and a trustworthy character.
Being accountable to others will Enable us. Accountability enables us to share our lives with one another in a deep, introspective way. This helps us to get to know ourselves and others in a deeper manner.
Christians need to be accountable to one another. In 1 Corinthians chapter 12, we read that Christians are all part of the same body and each member needs or belongs to the other. From this passage we learn the importance of 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. Have you made yourself 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?
Pastor Allen Jackson