Day 29: Weep With One Another
It’s been awhile since we've specifically discussed accountability. Hopefully by now you are beginning to understand its importance as you have responded to each lesson's accountability question. As followers of Christ we need one another more than we know. Even Christ, who was perfectly qualified to do his ministry alone, chose to have twelve disciples. He was carving the foundation of his church by practicing fellowship with those twelve close friends.
Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. -Romans 12:15 (NIV)
If at this point you don’t have accountability (someone who you're being honest with daily), it may be wise to stop the course until you do. The necessity of brotherhood/sisterhood is too important to neglect, especially when it comes to sexual purity. The typical trouble with having accountability is finding someone that we feel can be trusted to know that much about us. Trust is hard - many of us have been betrayed, manipulated and deceived by other people throughout our lives. Perhaps this even happened within the confines of the church. I know this can be difficult, but we have to let go of past circumstances to move forward into future victories. Whether that is your pastor, a close friend, relative, or spouse, it is absolutely critical that we have constant accountability. By doing so we are able to keep one another in check, build one another up, and grow closer to Christ.
BLIND LEADING BLIND
Equally as important as having fellowship is having someone who has already grown through the struggles we're facing. It is difficult to take advice from someone struggling with the same things you are. Ultimately the Bible is our source of knowledge, but without someone who knows the pains, depths, and victories of your struggle it will simply be one blind person leading another.
Leave them; they are blind guides. If the blind lead the blind, both will fall into a pit. -Matthew 15:14 (NIV)
Of course we still share in the struggles of others who are struggling. It is also to say that we ought to be discipled by someone who has been lifted out of that habit by the grace of God. The aspect of accountability (and firmly committing to it) means that when we are being tempted, we can always think about how we will ultimately need to confess our sin. That kind of exposure oftentimes helps to keep my flesh in check.
Perhaps you are like I was and simply aren’t ready to trust someone as your accountability partner. The solution is quite simple in theory, but difficult to apply. Get involved in your local church, get plugged in, and meet others who can walk through life with you. Be an active part of the body of Christ and pray that God puts the right person in your path to be that person for you.
WHERE TO FIND ACCOUNTABILITY
- Go to Church
Far too many Christians have written off the church for many reasons, neglecting to realize the tragic effect it’s having on their lives. Christ called himself the vine and his church the branches. To be a part of the vine, we need to associate with other branches.
- Take a Step of Faith
Don't be afraid to be vulnerable. Put yourself out there to someone in your life that can be entrusted to hold you accountable. This is where most people fall short. They don't want to take the time and the effort required to actually find a person to hold them to the standards being set. Like anything worth accomplishing, seeing, doing, or feeling in life it takes a leap of faith first. I can tell you from experience that if I had never sought accountability in college, I would not have seven close friends that I regularly stay in touch with to this day. These are my brothers, and they hold me accountable to be the man Scripture calls me to be.
- Make the Call
Accountability in this area cannot be a weekly thing, it MUST be constant (hour to hour if necessary at first). If your accountability partner isn’t calling you daily, then you ought to call them. It is absolutely essential for us to be asked difficult questions on a regular basis. Encourage your accountability partner to ask you those tough questions. It's important that these calls and conversations don't become legalistic. While talking daily is important, what's more important is the transparency. One of our mentors wrote:
I've had some pretty rough days like that - I watched pornography and confessed my sin to an accountability partner, and later in the day gave into the same temptation just to confess again. The heartache that person was able to share in with me had a profound impact on me. Personally, I like that kind of accountability versus accountability where we go on our lust spree and wait until the end of the day to confess anything.
Day 29 Application
What is your understanding of why accountability is important?
Have you sought out an accountability partner? If not, what has held you back?
How have you spent time with God today? Have you been in contact with your accountability partner such that you were asked tough questions about purity?
Since the last lesson, how have you been with maintaining your sexual purity?