I didn’t post yesterday but spent the evening with nearly a dozen women discussing “accountability”. It was a diverse group. We didn’t really know each other, some had accountability partners, others did not. We agreed on the meaning as we’ve talked about in earlier posts and moved on to why we should have accountability in our lives.
The number one reason is because it is a Godly principal set up by our Savior. Adam and Eve were accountable to God,(as we all are) David to Nathan, and the disciples went out in pairs or groups. The list could go on and include the over 50 passages where it talks about “one another”. We were created to live life in relationship. When you have relationships your decisions or lack thereof effect others. We’ve discussed the “ripple effect” before.
It was interesting when I asked what came to mind when they heard the word accountable or accountability. The responses were the expected defining type words, reporting in, explaining etc. But one woman was brave enough to say what others were thinking, fear. (or lets say at least, anxiety) It’s so sad but true that we are afraid of each other. We are afraid of what they will think of us, afraid they won’t be our friend anymore, afraid they will betray our trust and tell someone else our “secrets”. It is truly sad to me that we give someone else that much power over ourselves. That said, I know it’s true. I feel it myself and have witnessed it in others countless times.
My own story testifies to the fact that if we give in to fear and don’t become honest and open with someone we can really hurt ourselves. More than 7 years ago my husband and I were in full time ministry and LOVED it. However our two part-time ministries had grown. (Praise God) However they now added up to at least 1 1/2 jobs. Add to that our mistakenly placed since of being responsible for everything around us and it was a one-way course to disaster. It’s always easier to see it in someone else and I could see problems coming in my husbands physical life. So I did my best to “help out”. There were people in authority above my husband that could have helped with the work load had we said anything. I hinted at it a couple of times but no one caught my hints. Why didn’t he or I flat out say something and ask for help? Fear. Fear that they would think we couldn’t do the job, weren’t strong enough, spiritual enough…whatever enough. My fear contributed to his complete crash August 2004. When I say complete, I mean complete. Our lives changed on a dime. He is healed now. Life goes on and lessons learned. But I know now, in hind sight that if I had been honest and transparent with others or if we had regular accountability friends that we allowed into every area of our lives our crash wouldn’t have been as all-encompassing. God is full of grace and mercy and we are able to minister again but in a much different setting and way.
James 5:16 from the Amplified Bible says this, “Confess to one another therefore you faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray (also) for one another, that you may be healed and restored (to a spiritual tone of mind and heart). The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (dynamic in its working).” When we open up to one another, including our weaknesses, asking for help/accountability we open ourselves up to support and healing and power. It’s very freeing. Can you think of time when you’ve opened up to someone and felt freer after you did – no matter how trivial the topic might have been?