Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”
A very important foundation to establish in your life is accountability. Accountability is a powerful tool that will help you to live a life free of addictions. The Bible says in Romans 16:7 “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.” This means that we are not meant to live the Christian life alone. We need other people to encourage us as well as to be encouraged by us. By the same token we need to be accountable to each other. The Bible says in Proverbs 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.” It is very important that we as Christians, establish in our life, a network of accountability. Accountability will protect us, encourage us and give us the power to live a victorious Christian life.
The Power of Accountability:
One man who struggled through bondage to sexual sins and was in fact convicted of attempted rape said, “if you don’t want to get rid of the problem, confess it only to God. If you want to get rid of the problem, confess it to another person. And if you really want to get rid of the problem, keep yourself accountable to another person.” Another person who is now living in victory said, “I confessed my sin to God for years. I mean I poured my heart out, begging for His forgiveness, but it was within weeks of starting to confess to another brother what I was doing that I had victory.” A person needs to be honest with himself and at least one other person. (“Dr Ed Watke, “Treasures of Truth”)
The Reasons for accountability:
- The power of secrecy.Just as it is normal for people to do their evil deeds at night (because they are less observable), the same is true for individuals struggling with addictions. The devil wants us to think: “If no one knows then you will get away with it.” In Exodus 2:11-15 In order to protect his brethren, Moses murdered someone when he thought no one was looking. He did not seem to care much about what he had done until he knew that there was someone else that knew. It was at this point that Moses fled from Egypt because he knew that his sin was not a secret and he felt that there were going to be severe consequences.
Exodus 2:11-15: “And it came to pass in those days, when Moses was grown, that he went out unto his brethren, and looked on their burdens: and he spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one of his brethren. And he looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no man, he slew the Egyptian, and hid him in the sand. And when he went out the second day, behold, two men of the Hebrews strove together: and he said to him that did the wrong, Wherefore smitest thou thy fellow? And he said, Who made thee a prince and a judge over us? intendest thou to kill me, as thou killedst the Egyptian? And Moses feared, and said, Surely this thing is known. Now when Pharaoh heard this thing, he sought to slay Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh, and dwelt in the land of Midian: and he sat down by a well.”
If we keep sins and addictions a secret then we will be comfortable to continue on doing them, but once the power of secrecy is diffused we will then have an easier time overcoming our addictions.
- Accountability provides added protection when we are not walking close to God.It is a fact that we are accountable to God, but when we are not walking close to God we are unable to sense His presence. The Bible says in Hebrews 11:27: “By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king: for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.” Moses was able to forsake Egypt because he was able to see God, who is invisible. God is not visible to our physical eyes, but He is visible to our eyes of faith — when we are walking with God. If we are walking with God then we will be able to see God and will be able to “forsake” addiction. However, if we cannot see God it will be easy to sink back into a sinful life that will result in addictive behavior.
This is basically what happened to Peter in Matthew 12:29-31:
“And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”
When Peter stepped out of the boat to walk on the water, he was doing fine until he took his eyes off of Jesus. He ended up looking at the waves and the wind. Because of this Peter began to sink.
When someone is about to give in to their addiction they have already taken their eyes off of God. They are not walking in the Spirit and cannot see “Him who is invisible.” An accountability partner is a safety mechanism for the times that we lose sight of God.
- An accountability partner can also help us in the areas where we lack discipline.For example: Someone may purpose in their heart to wake up at 5:00am to have their devotions (time with God), but they find themselves waking up late every morning. Then the same person gets a job where they have to wake up at 5:00am in order to be on time for work. This person may find that they were not able to wake up for devotions but they were able to wake up for work. The reason for this is the reality of consequences. Sometimes, we are unable to see the consequences of our spiritual negligence, but we can see the consequences of being late for the job. This reality is what motivates us. This is the power of accountability. So if we can have someone to be accountable to, we can end up being more disciplined in our spiritual exercises. Therefore, if we are struggling to be faithful to our Bible reading, prayer life, church attendance, witnessing and we cannot seem to be consistent, an accountability partner who will check up on us will make a world of difference.
- An accountability partner will be there for us during the times we need someone to talk to.There are times when we need someone to just listen to what we have to say. Whether we are “stressed out,” over burdened, or just have a lot on our mind. We all need someone that we can confide in, someone that we can confess our faults to and someone that can advise us without condemning us. A good accountability partner will do this for us.
- It is important to have an accountability partner for the times that we backslide.At this time we will need someone to pick us up and help us to find our way back to God. The Bible says in James 5:20: “Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.” James is telling the believers of that local assembly that it is there responsibility to try to turn an errant believer back to God.
- An accountability partner will pray for us.Having someone that will pray for us concerning our spiritual, physical, emotional and financial needs is vital to our welfare. One of the most important needs that we have is the need for prayer and an accountability partner will do this!
Biblical principles for accountability:
God knows the nature of mankind, which is why accountability goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. God made sure that Adam was not left alone — unaccountable. Therefore, God gives Adam a wife. God said of Adam: “it is not good that man should be alone, I will make an help meet for him.” We see in the Bible that God always had the King of Israel to be accountable to the Prophet. David committed adultery and murder and he went on ruling the nation as if he did nothing wrong. He did not repent, nor did he try to get things right in any way. Then in 2 Samuel 12:1-7 Nathan approached David and confronted him concerning his sin. It was at this point that David repented and dealt with his sin. Jesus said, “on this rock I build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” This is one of the reasons God established the church. It provides a network of accountability.
In all the institutions God has ordained, there is accountability. In the family, God gave Adam Eve. In government God gave the king prophets. In the church we have each other to be accountable. All through the Bible we can see examples of accountability.
Secular principles of accountability:
Even in secular circles there is accountability for various reasons. Employers will have their employees fill out activity reports in order for them to be held accountable for their work. There needs to be someone or something that an employee is accountable to. If not, he may then begin to be less productive. An athlete is often tested for speed, weight, strength and agility so that coaches may know how they are doing. In the military there are many areas of accountability that helps to keep the soldiers in line. Accountability is a very important factor in the life of someone that wants to reach their highest potential in every area!
The benefits of an accountability partner:
- There is great healing in confession. (James 5:16)
- Telling another person ones decision to change reinforces his commitment to do so
- Knowing that someone else “knows” and is praying and exhorting us and checking on us makes a tremendous difference.
- If we cover up our sins we will not prosper (Prov. 28:13).The double life must be dismantled at all cost.
- Satan knows the power he has within secrecy.That is why sin is so often done in secret – because the person thinks he does not have to answer to anyone but himself and God.
(Treasures of Truth, Ed Watke)
What to look for in an accountability partner:
They must be a spiritual Christian who you feel you can talk openly to. Someone that you can confide in, someone you can trust, someone who will pray for you and someone who cares enough to check on you and ask hard questions when they see that you are struggling. This person must also be honest with you and tell you what you need to hear – with love.
Accountability is a very practical foundation that will help us in rebuilding our lives. We cannot do it alone, but with Christ, and other believers we can do it. Establish a network of accountability in your life today and start reaping the benefits of this foundation!
- What will happen if we continue to keep sins and addictions a secret? _______________________________.
- Accountability provides added protection when we are not _____________________________.
- If we can have someone to be accountable to, we can end up being more disciplined in ours____________________ e_________________________.
- List four reasons why accountability is important?
- List two of the benefits of accountability:
- What should you look for in an accountability partner?________________________________________________________________________________________________
Memory Verse: Proverbes 11:14 “Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.”