Tag Archives: accountability partner

Seeing Blind Spots

Several times a year my boss, or one of my peers, comes to observe me doing my job. They take notes on the things they see, and then at the end of the day we discuss what they saw. They usually start with the good behaviors they see, and remind me why those things matter. Then they move into areas where I didn’t execute very well. There are places where I could have been quicker, or that I could have skipped doing without realizing it. Then they make suggestions for my improved performance.

It’s difficult hearing other people’s input on my work, but it’s a necessary step for improvement. They are able to see things that I’m blind to. Sometimes I get caught up doing things the same way, over and over, because i don’t stop to ask, “Is this the best way to be doing that?” Having that outside set of eyes, not only sees those things, but it also gets input on how to do things better. Each of us have areas where we can get better in our lives and in our walk with the Lord.

When Moses had led the children of Israel out of Egypt, he automatically became their judge for disputes. Some times it would take up a whole day just trying to resolve disputes among the people. In Exodus 18, his father in law observed him and asked, “When Jethro saw everything that Moses had to do, he asked, “What is all this that you are doing for the people? Why are you doing this all alone, with people standing here from morning till night to consult you?” (GNT) He then provided him a more efficient way to help others.

As I said earlier, it’s not easy to hear someone else’s opinion on how they think you should be doing things, but I’ve found it helps me to improve. It’s good for each of us to have an accountability partner who can see the things we are blind to. It’s also important to give them the ability to question you without fear. If you’re trying to get to that next level, it often requires an outside set of eyes from someone you trust. Their insights and ability to see your blind spots could be the key to a deeper relationship with Christ or to help you exponentially improve what you’re doing for Christ.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Exposing Your Weakness

20140310-074810.jpg

Last week, a mentor of mine posted a video of himself working out. He held a barbell above his head and squatted multiple times. He then moved over to a chin up bar and did several chin ups. After that he went back to the barbells. He repeated the process until he couldn’t go on. I watched as he began to struggle. His arms twitched. He had to refocus and retry a few times as he got wore out. Finally, he stopped and walked off the mat. His caption said, “One thing Crossfit does, it exposes weakness in areas you might have thought you were strong in. But I love it!”

That phrase stuck out to me. Most of us want nothing to do with having our weaknesses exposed. We like to keep them hidden from others and pretend they don’t exist. We like to focus on areas where we’re strong and show that side to the world. We like to put our best foot forward and rarely let others see who we completely are. We’re afraid others won’t like us as much or will look down on us. Fear plays a big role in keeping our weaknesses covered up. Unfortunately, that fear is what keeps us from being more of the person God wants us to be.

Knowing what your weaknesses are and putting them in the open has a lot of benefits. First, knowing your weaknesses gives you direction and focus. It shows you exactly what you need to work on. Just because you are weak in an area of your life, it doesn’t mean you can’t get strong there. Don’t fall for the lie that it’s just who you are or it’s just in your nature. You are only weak in areas of your life to the extent that you allow yourself to be. You have the power to get strong in those areas if only you will push yourself. When you do, you will find other areas of weakness. Simply repeat the process.

Another benefit to exposing weakness is that it opens you up to accountability. As long as you hide your weakness, it will eat away at you and hold you hostage. The moment you expose it and ask others to help, you set yourself free. You are free from the mind games it has played with you and used to keep you down. You are free to work on that area and to get help. When you allow yourself to be vulnerable enough to say to someone else, “Here’s where I’m weak. I need you to hold me accountable and to help me beat it,” you begin to turn that weakness into a strength. You begin to take control over it instead of letting it have control over you.

In Psalm 139:24-24, David prayed to God and said, “Investigate my life, O God, find out everything about me; cross-examine me and test me, get a clear picture of what I’m about… then guide me on the road to eternal life.” David understood this principle. He asked God to test him and to expose his weaknesses so that he could be guided on the road to eternal life. Each one of us have areas of weakness. Each one of us fail God in our lives. But not each one of us dare to ask God to expose it and then to guide us to a deeper walk with Him. Take that first step today and ask God to expose your weaknesses. Then find an accountability partner to help you strengthen that area. You’ll be glad you did.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Content With Discontentment

Yesterday morning I was meeting with my accountability partner. I was sharing some areas of discontentment in my life with him where I thought I would have been further along by now. A year ago, things were moving rapidly in my life towards my goals. Now, they seem to have slowed to a crawl. It’s frustrating to be moving so quickly towards a God-given dream and then have it screech to a halt with no explanation.

As I was talking, the stories of Saul’s and David’s ascension to the throne came to mind. For Saul, he had no idea the leaders of Israel were asking Samuel to tell God they wanted a king instead of a prophet. He was out looking for some lost donkeys. After several days of looking and running out of food, his servant remembered there was a prophet in a nearby town. Maybe he could tell them where the donkeys were.

When they arrived, Samuel immediately knew that Saul was the man chosen by God to be king. He invited him to dinner with the elders and also let him know the donkeys had been found. The next day, Samuel told him he would be king and to go wait for him in another town. There Samuel anointed him king in front of everyone, but not everyone thought he was a good pick. A month later, he led Israel into battle and was victorious. The doubters went away.

David, on the other hand, was watching sheep when Samuel anointed him to be king. He didn’t become king a month later either. In fact, it was around 15 years that he had to wait. During that time, God was preparing him for the throne. He still had to watch sheep and do his daily duties. He still had to serve his brothers when they went off to war. Even though he and his family knew he was destined to be king, he still held his position and did his job faithfully while waiting.

I imagine he had to go through times of discontentment too. He had to wonder if the prophet was right. He had to think, “What am I doing out here watching sheep in this kind of weather?” He didn’t let those things get in the way of what God was doing in him as he was being prepared for the throne. He didn’t think he was above the menial job of watching the sheep which had been assigned to him because he was the youngest. He used that time to grow closer to God and to learn how to care for God’s sheep.

It was at this point that my accountability partner looked me square in the eyes and said, “You know, discipline is doing what you don’t want to do right now because you know what results it will bring in the future.” Those words went straight to my heart and challenged me. David was disciplined enough to watch sheep even though he was supposed to be king. The discipline God created in him during that time helped him to be the greatest king he could have been. Whereas Saul lacked the discipline required to be king and that cost him the throne.

If having discipline were easy, everyone would have it. Instead, few of us are able to endure the menial things in our life right now to have the strength needed in the future. We’d rather be given a great future without having to do the work in the present. We want the throne without the waiting. I’ve resolved to watch sheep as long as God sees fit. I’d rather He build the discipline in me now so I don’t fall later. I’m willing to put in the work now, so I can be effective when God says, “It’s time.”

8 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

An Outside Set of Eyes

What do Phil Mickelson, LeBron James, Andy Murray and Michael Phelps have in common besides being amazing athletes? They all have coaches. They have someone who has an outside set of eyes to help them correct errors, tweak their movements and to provide encouragement to continue when things aren’t going as planned. Each athlete you can think of has a coach who helps them to be the best they can be.

This weekend, our church brought in an extra set of eyes to see what many of us on the inside can’t see. They looked at our processes, our friendliness, our reputation in the community and much more to help us be better. Having another person see you for who you really are versus who you see yourself to be can be difficult and scary. It’s a necessary step for growth though. You don’t get better unless you have someone who you trust to come and say, “Here’s what I see and here are the changes you should make.”

Each of us as Christians are called to be salt and light in our sphere of influence. Jesus asked, “If the salt has lost its flavor, what good is it?” What if each of us found someone to meet with on a regular basis to help our flavor get better? What if we opened ourselves up to that different set of eyes and heard the truth about the light we cast? It would hurt some, but it would also provide growth.

None of us have the Christian life down perfectly. We all struggle to walk in faith and in complete obedience. We are all successful in certain areas of our daily walk with Christ and we all have areas that could use improvement. We can only look in the mirror and see so much. It’s when we allow ourselves to be exposed that we truly find growth and accountability. I speak to people all the time in the business world about finding someone to help you succeed. Why don’t we do that in something that has eternal consequences?

There will always be someone who is better at certain aspects of the Christian life. Ask them to meet with you on a regular basis to challenge you and to help you grow. There is always someone who is coming up behind you who could benefit from knowing what you’ve learned. Reach out to them and ask if they’d like to meet regularly. Each of you will benefit from the relationship. Each of you will increase your flavor and ability to shine your lights.

Who are you thinking of right now that could help you to be accountable or could help you grow? Let me encourage you today to reach out to them and ask to start meeting with them to discuss your walk with God. It could be over breakfast once a week, a round of golf every other week, a cup of coffee at a local coffee house once a month or wherever and whenever that meets your schedules. It’s important to find someone you trust with your growth and who can provide input that you respect. Set that appointment up today. You won’t regret it.

6 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized