Accountability is defined as taking responsibility for your own actions, as followers of Christ, it is important to take responsibility for our walk of faith and our sins. Fortunately, we are encouraged to have a community to open up to about our walk of faith, the habits we can’t seem to break, or the sins that we can’t overcome on our own. As Paul wrote to the Galatians,
Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. 2 Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. 3 If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important.
4 Pay careful attention to your o wn work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. 5 For we are each responsible for our own conduct. – Galatians 6:1-5 (NLT)
It is so important to be held accountable towards our own actions. If we sin, we face the consequences of our actions and when we can’t face these consequences on our own, at least we can rely on our accountability partner or partners to help encourage us, pray with us, and walk with us back towards the right path. Two elements that form Christian accountability are trust (verse 1) and the ability to relate (verse 2).
In order to form a well-established Christian accountability relationship, there needs to be trust. Developing trust is not a quick process, and it does take time to develop and grow. As people meet together frequently and share their stories and experiences, they begin to establish a rapport with one another. But how can this be accomplished? Through active listening (James 1:19), a non-judgemental attitude (Matthew 7:1-2), and caring for each other (1 John 4:21). Accountability involves a willingness to open yourself up and share your experiences, no matter how personal or sensitive it may be. If any experience forms a wall between you and your will to serve and follow Christ, then you can count on your accountability partner or group to listen and help you out.
Relating to one another is the second element to a well-established Christian accountability relationship. It is helpful when you share a common bond or similar experiences with your partner or group. People who relate to one another can understand one another and empathize better. Being able to relate to one another helps eliminate the fear of judgment or rejection and allows for the formation of a deeper bond, one that can grow in the knowledge and love of Christ.
Accountability is very important as you walk the path of righteousness. The more you hold yourself accountable for your sins and actions, all the more the path of righteousness would seem to narrow. But this shouldn’t worry you! You can count on your brothers and sisters and Christ to help you on the journey.
– Chelsea Mendoza
Need an accountability partner or a spiritual group to grow in? Reach out to a lifegroup leader to help you find your right fit!