Blake Allen, Student and Outreach Minister, LHBC
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
One of the most overlooked disciplines in the Christian faith is Biblical accountability. I’m not sure if the term accountability brings about negative connotations for some, but this is actually one of the most helpful practices as a Christian. We were made to live in community with other believers. One of the reasons for this is to sharpen one another. This requires Biblical accountability. Do you have accountability partners in your life? Here are a few tips to get started:
What to look for: One of my favorite authors, Paul David Tripp, talks about the importance of having people in your life who will speak to you with loving candor. When searching for an accountability partner, be sure they love you enough to call you on your stuff.
Tripp talks about the dangers of establishing an accountability partner who will not speak to you with loving candor. When your accountability partner(s) fails to call you out on your stuff or tries to justify your sin, either because of your “success,” status, accomplishments, leadership abilities, personality, effectiveness, emotional attachment, or “friendship,” they are unintentionally granting you permission to continue to live in your sin. This is dangerous and not loving at all. When searching for an accountability partner, do not just select any close friend. You need to find someone who is not afraid to love you with some good ole fashion loving candor.
What does it look like: Biblical accountability includes several things. It is not just about calling each other out on our stuff—though this is the uncomfortable but necessary part of it. It is about sharpening one another (Prov 27:17). Here are just a few suggestions of ways to practice accountability:
Start a daily Bible reading plan with two others. I do this with my student interns, and it is one of the greatest decisions we have made. Every day we text these two words when we have spent time with the Lord: prayed/read.
Memorize a Bible verse a week with your partners. If Jesus thought it best to quote Scripture when being tempted by Satan in every way, how much more do we need to hide the word of God in our hearts? Why not do it together?
Check in with your accountability partners from time to time: This is where Biblical candor is also necessary. My natural tendency is not to depend upon others. I do not like bothering people with my struggles, problems, or seeming like a burden. But remember that Satan prowls around like a lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). If your struggles are eating you up or devouring you, it is likely that Satan is at work trying to capitalize on your pain and struggles. We need others to walk alongside us to lift us up, encourage us, and to ensure we respond to our problems in God honoring ways.
Where to start my search: Look for others who are already in your circle of influence. Is there anyone who is a strong believer and not afraid to speak to you with loving candor when necessary? Ask them to be your accountability partner.
If you do not have those people in your life yet, join a family group. This is where faith becomes your family at Living Hope. We are not made to do life on our own. We need others to come alongside us, encourage us, and walk-through life with us. Accountability partners can be found in these groups.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, would you continually provide other believers in my life who will watch after, encourage, and speak truth to me constantly. May I be sharpened by and sharpen others with your word. May I continually stay in Biblical community with others. In Jesus Name, Amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.