No, you don’t need to be perfect. No one wants to be around flawless people. Accountability is for imperfect people. You are going to fail, and so will your accountability friends. We need to make room for failure and grace. Don’t confuse maturity with perfectionism, and don’t isolate yourself from relationships because there are setbacks in your walk with Christ. Growth does not happen in isolation, but in relationships. In an accountability relationship, the primary goal is pursuing love for God and others.
“Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6.2
2. Accountability is all about behavior management
Accountability is more than a confession booth. Yes, genuine repentance requires a change of behavior. The danger is when we have a clean record for a few weeks or months and we become complacent and neglect the root problems of the heart and the commitment to change. We fall into the pitfall of striving for performance rather than transformation. As Jesus said “I am the way,” we need reminders and encouragement from our relationships and community to stay on the path, to become more like Christ day by day.
“So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” – 2 Corinthians 4.16
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” – Romans 12.2
“Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5.11
3. Accountability is the solution to all your problems
We all need help for our addictions, healing for our wounds, needs of being truly seen, understood and accepted. The truth is that there is no quick fix or one-way method, and your accountability friends are not the solution. As followers of Jesus, we are to represent Him by intentionally loving one another. But we are not Jesus. We need to admit that we have limitations and sometimes we need to allow the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. It is not your job to save; your job is to be present and offer support when your friend is under the fierce attack of the enemy and is tempted to give in. We are signposts, patiently pointing to the return of the king in the dark night.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” – 1 Corinthians 15.58
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” – Philippians 1.6