Tag Archives: accountability

Being Accountable

Accountability is a word we use a lot in church. We like to ask people if they have an accountability partner. Each of us should have someone who holds us accountable to help us keep from stumbling. The military uses accountability too. The leader needs to know where all their soldiers are at any given moment. For them, accountability isn’t just a top down approach, it’s also bottom up. If a soldier is not in their designated place of duty, they are failing in their duty to the chain of command. They could create chaos on the battlefield if they’re not where they’re supposed to be and doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Each individual soldier has assigned duties that must be done so that the whole achieves their goals. It’s important that soldiers are accountable up, down and horizontally in their chain of command.

When Cain killed Able and God called out to him about his brother’s whereabouts, he asked, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” In reality, we are. You and I are to be each other’s keeper in the Church. We’re to help each other man our stations, reach our potential, fulfill our calling and encourage each other to keep going when we get ready to give up. You are not just responsible for yourself as a Christian. Like a soldier, you’re to help your brother or sister when they need help, carry them when they need carrying and fight alongside them when they’re under attack. We must be vocal when we need help, get discouraged or feel like walking away from our duties. We each need to have someone we trust and are accountable to so that we help each other. Let’s not forget we are in a battle.

1 Thessalonians 5:14-15 says, “Get along among yourselves, each of you doing your part. Our counsel is that you warn the freeloaders to get a move on. Gently encourage the stragglers, and reach out for the exhausted, pulling them to their feet. Be patient with each person, attentive to individual needs. And be careful that when you get on each other’s nerves you don’t snap at each other. Look for the best in each other, and always do your best to bring it out” (MSG). You are not just responsible for yourself. God has placed other believers around you for you to help and for them to help you. Accountability is what makes the Body of Christ function to its potential. Each of us need to do our own part and we need to be helping our fellow brothers and sisters stay on task to do theirs.

Photo by Timon Studler on Unsplash

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Winning Inner Battles

God does this thing with me where He will wake me up in the middle of the night and want me to pray for certain people. On one occasion, God kept waking me up to pray for this individual. Early the next morning, God said, “Send them a text.” He had a very specific message for me to send. I answered back, “Seriously? It’s weird to text that to a person I barely know.” God kept at it until finally I sent the text. A few minutes later, I got a long text back from that person that confirmed what God was speaking to me.

They had been fighting a hidden battle on the inside, but on the outside they were pretending that everything was fine. The enemy lies to us and tells us to fight our battles that way because he knows that when we agree in prayer with others, God multiplies our strength exponentially. You know the verse that says, “If one can out one thousand to flight, then two can put ten thousand to flight”? There’s power in agreement of prayer so the enemy often attacks us on the inside with the lie that we need to cover it up.

The apostle Paul understood that we often get attacked on the inside. In Ephesians 3:16 he wrote, “I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit” (NLT). Each of us need inner strength to withstand the attack from our enemy who tries to crush us. We need to remember that greater is He that is within us! You and I don’t have to fight our inner battles alone. God has unlimited resources to help us fight back. Tell a friend who will pray for you and with you until victory is won.

Photo by Christopher Campbell on Unsplash


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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.


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Falling Short

Steve Urkel, from Family Matters, famously coined the phrase, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” As I think of the hilarity of that character doing that, I can’t help but think how true that phrase is for so many of us. There’s not a single person on the planet who doesn’t fail or fall. Romans 3:23 says, “For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (NLT). No matter how hard we try or what we do, we fall short of the standards God has set for us.

Does that mean we shouldn’t try? Of course not! No matter how many times we fall, God’s grace is there to catch us. However, there are times we fall when we think it’s so bad that God’s grace won’t catch us. We feel ashamed and are unwilling to seek forgiveness because we knew what we were doing was wrong, and we did it anyway. We feel the guilt of letting down God, others, and ourselves. We are afraid to ask for help, and feel like we can’t get back up.

I believe that’s why it’s so important for us to have a Christian friend who can help is in those times. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says, “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” We need another believer to help us get back up when we’ve fallen. If we don’t have that, we’ll be like Steve Urkel, but without the hilarity.

We need other people in our life to help us succeed in living the way we are commanded to live. We need them to hold us accountable, to encourage us, and to pray for us. There’s not one of us who doesn’t need someone like that in their life. If you don’t have someone like that in your life, let me encourage you to reach out to someone you know, and can trust, to ask them to be your partner in success. I know it will be mutually beneficial, and you’ll have help to get you back up the next time you fall..

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Exposing Your Weakness


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.


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Caring Enough To Correct

In college I started a Friday night event on my wing called “Midnight Monopoly”. It was a leisure outlet for those of us who didn’t work or have other entertainment to make fete of an otherwise boring evening. It was always a fun time.

One night two roommates joined the game; as we played, one made an innocent joke about the other. It was not received well, however, and the other guy spitefully and openly countered with the sharpest, crudest remark he could muster. Everyone quickly overlooked the comment, but I sat there appalled. I was the wing chaplain and decided to let it pass and confront the guy once the game ended.

In my room with him, I addressed the comment—how ugly and unchristian it was and expressed to his own roommate and spiritual brother. How could he say such a thing? I explained that he needed to apologize and simply repent. I wasn’t trying to be a dad, but it sure felt like it. The comment had offended and angered me.

Well he didn’t like it. He left abruptly and said nothing to me for two weeks—that is until a knock at my door one evening. “Can I talk to you for a minute?” He explained that he had thought very much about what I had said to him and felt convicted. He acknowledged his wrong and thanked me for having the courage to challenge him. He also stated that he had apologized to his roommate.

The Profitability of Correction

Proverbs 27:5-6 says, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” Challenging others is never easy, even when done lovingly. Some people let offenses and bad behavior go unchallenged rather than making folk accountable for them. But this is wrong and unloving.

It is a false conception to think we can become successful or mature individuals, even good Christians, if we fail to submit to correction. Accountability safeguards character by cultivating wholesome traits and challenging negative ones. A mode of accountability, correction is essential to personal growth and also God’s plan for us. Being non-teachable and prideful, however, causes us to miss valuable lessons and costs us in the end.

Hosea graphically expresses the need for correction and repentance: “Come, let us return to the Lord. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us” (6:1-2, NASB). Here is the idea of purposely wounding, perhaps to set a fracture or to clean away infection.

And sometimes we don’t see that our lives have defect or fester with some sin. So seeking accountability is a positive and proactive move to ensure integrity and godliness. Moreover, godly reproof is a grace and sign of God’s ownership. We should welcome it and not resist it, lest we accept the charge of Hebrews 12:8—“you are not legitimate children at all.”

The wing mate I confronted serves the Lord today around the globe sharing the love of Jesus with orphans and the distressed. I consider what I did a small but necessary part of preparing him for the ministry he performs today.

What might we be leaving untended in the lives of others God is burdening us to correct? And are you asking the Lord to reveal the places in your life in need of correction? Just own enough humility whether you’re correcting or being corrected. It helps to remember Jesus’s words that we bear abundant fruit when we are pruned (John 15:2).

This guest post is from Mike Stephens. Mike is the author of “A ‘Mike’ for Christ“, a devotional blog featuring thoughtful, topical discussion and spiritual reflection.

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The Check Engine Light


The check engine light has been on in my car for a while. Like most people, I’ve ignored it. The car has run well and has not given me any issues, so I’ve continued to drive it. This month, it’s time to get the annual inspection done and you can’t get it inspected with the check engine light on. I’ve spent a lot of time this weekend trying to figure out what the problem is. I’ve been able to clear all the problems except one. I’m continuing to try to solve that one so my car will be in perfect working order.

I started thinking how many of us have our spiritual check engine light on. We ignore warnings that there is something not right in our lives. We see the light, but we keep going because we either think we’re fine or that it’ll be too costly to fix. I know because I’ve done it. The Holy Spirit would let me know that there was an issue, but I’d counter Him by saying, “It’s all right. This is a one time thing. I’m not going to make a habit of this.”

After we continue to ignore His warnings, it becomes like that light in my car, we hardly even notice anymore. We continue on in our lives, knowing what is right and continuing to do something else. What we said was a “one time thing” becomes a root for something even bigger. Sin rarely starts off big. It starts as a small step and leads to another small step. We justify each step until something happens and we realize we’re a long way away from where we should be.

We should each perform inspections like we do for our cars. In I Corinthians 11:28, Paul tells us to examine (inspect) ourselves before we take communion. For some churches, that’s every week. For others, once a month. However long it is between for you, that’s a perfect time to see if your spiritual check engine light is on. It’s also the time you need to figure out why it’s on and to do what’s necessary to get it turned off. The good news is that the price has been paid, we just need to do our part to replace the things in our lives that are causing it to be on.

What I’ve found is that the longer I continue to go without examining or inspecting myself, the more I have to repair in my life. Typically, it’s relationships that I have to repair, and my relationship with God is the first one that needs to be repaired. After that, I go to others whom I’ve ignored or offended and seek forgiveness. It’s not easy and it requires time and effort. I have to put things in place that keep me from going back and doing the things that caused my spiritual check engine light to come on in the first place.

What about you? Is there something in your life that you’ve ignored that God has given you a warning over? Have you continued on in your life so much that you hardly even notice anymore? How long has it been since you’ve done an inspection of your life? Let me encourage you to do it today. Don’t go another day without fixing the issues in your life that are causing God to warn you that something is wrong. It starts with repentance and ends with a life running full throttle for God.


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