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The Necessity of Accountability

  • Published Feb 01, 2002
The Necessity of Accountability
To be accountable to a boss not only is acceptable, it's essential. But we resist the idea of mixing something as exacting as accountability with something as loving and encouraging as our spiritual lives. Why not be accountable to someone who loves you and wants what is best for you? What's so wrong with friendship accountability, especially if it has what it takes to improve and enhance your walk with God?

Regarding accountability:

  • Being accountable includes being willing to explain your actions, being open, and non-defensive about your motives. It's answering for your life and supplying the reasons why. When it's a factor of friendship it becomes deep and meaningful.

  • The church is an accountability relationship. And do not neglect doing good and sharing; for with such sacrifices God is pleased. Obey your leaders, and submit to them; for they keep watch over your souls, and those who will give an account (Heb. 13:16-17). And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it, if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. Now you are Christ's body, and individually members of it ( 1 Cor. 12:26-27).
    Dropping Your Guard
    From Dropping Your Guard, by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright (c) 1982, 1998 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Word Publishing, Nashville, Tenn., 1-800-933-9673. All rights reserved.

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  • Vertical accountability is guaranteed. Paul says that each one of us shall give account of himself to Go (Rom. 14:12). God doesn't toss His people into a heap and expect them to somehow wind up in glory. He cares about His own. He, in fact, holds us accountable for the way we live. There will be vertical accountability and it will be the basis of your heavenly rewards (2 Cor. 5:10).

  • Horizontal accountability is required. We are not islands of independence, living lives free of one another. We are made to relate and to answer to one another. When fellow members fall into a slump and begin to walk in a carnal manner, operating their lives from the realm of the flesh instead of the Spirit, it is our responsibility to help restore them to Christ (Gal. 5:25-26; 6:1-2).

Four ways to implement accountability:

  1. Consider the value of becoming accountable. Can you say:

    • Like everyone else, I have blind spots. By being accountable, I will gain insight I don't have in myself.

    • Because I lack sufficient strength and wisdom to cope with pressure, temptation, and pride on my own, I need others near me.

    • The kind of world I live in has too many booby traps and subtle snares for me to handle on my own (especially when I travel or when I'm alone). I need additional strength.

  2. Ask yourself two questions:

    • Why do I remain isolated and unaccountable?

    • What if I stay in this condition?

  3. Choose at least one other person (preferably two or three) with whom you will meet regularly. They need to be carefully chosen for their confidentiality, honesty, authenticity, and objectivity. They must be godly, available, and loyal.

  4. Develop a relationship that strengthens your grip on spiritual things. You don't need a business consultant, financial counselor, or professional therapist. You need someone who will encourage you in God (1 Sam. 23:16).

Charles R. SwindollCharles Swindoll is president of Dallas Theological Seminary and host of the internationally syndicated radio program, Insight for Living. He has authored more than 25 best-selling books, including The Grace Awakening, Laugh Again, and Joseph. Charles and his wife, Cynthia, reside in Dallas, Texas.

Originally appeared in Live It on Crosswalk.com.