“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
The concept of accountability is a biblical one. It is a concept much ignored in our present culture and therefore one which we as Christians need to make sure we don’t ignore. There are two types of accountability. The first is that kind from which you cannot escape. Examples of this are the police (who will hold you to account for the wrong you do) and parents (who you are accountable to as children). Furthermore, we are all. by the very fact of our created status, accountable to God for the things he has instructed us to do.
The other type of accountability is voluntary. Although the two categories do sometimes overlap, it is this type of accountability that I would very much like to encourage you to think carefully about and put into action.
As sinners we always miss something about ourselves which other people can see very clearly. We are told to care for one another and challenge each other to greater faithfulness. In order to be able to do this we need to know each other. It is hard and counter-intuitive to reveal things about yourself which you are embarrassed about (like prevalent sins) to other people, but I would like to suggest that this is one way which God has set up so that we can progress, with the help of another, in true piety.
I am advocating becoming friends with somebody who you trust (until you are married it should be somebody of the same gender as you!) and asking them to help you pray through and work through your faults and failings. You will also be able to strengthen each other’s strengths. Help them work through failings that you see in them too and above all point them to Christ!
Here are some questions which you may find useful as I did when thing about accountability:
1/ Did you have a quiet time each day this week? What particular though did you have based on your readings?
2/ How is your prayer life?
3/ Have you shared your faith with Christians in the last week? What about with non-Christians?
4/How have you been faithful and wholehearted in your work at home/uni/work? Has your labour been Christ focused? (1 Corinthians 15v58)
5/ Is your thought life as it should be?
6/What was your biggest joy this week? Have you practiced joy even if you didn’t feel like it?
7/What temptations have you had this week, and how did you respond? What things will you do to make sure that you rest that temptation better the next time you receive it?
8/How are your relationships with others? What about your relationships with your own family?
9/What disappointments have you had this week? How did you respond to them?
10/What have you done to ensure that outside pressures (eg TV, peers) have been kept in proportion?
11/What have you done to show you servant heartedness this week?
12/How have you taken care of your body as the temple of the Holy Spirit this week?
13/How are you going to improve your relationship with God this week?
14/What is the biggest struggle ahead of you? How are you going to deal with it?
15/Have you compromised your integrity in any way or lied about the above questions?
By Thomas van den Broek
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