What is Accountability?
It is a check and balance system to protect us from harm from ourselves and others. We do this by being open to what we are thinking and doing so we can receive encouragement and reproof, when needed. Christian accountability is accounting for what we are up to. It is the realization that we are liable, responsible, and answerable for our actions in life to God (Matt. 12:36; Rom. 2:16; 14:2; 1 Cor. 3:10-15; 4:5; 2 Cor. 5:10), as well as to key Christians in our life (John 13:34 Gal. 6:1-2; Philip. 2:4; Heb. 10:23-24; James 5:16). Thus, we need to hold to our beliefs and keep in line with what we believe so it does not distract us from God's path for us or discourage others from their path.
Accountability allows us to be answerable to one another, focusing on key relationships such as with our spouse, close friends, colleagues, coworkers, a boss, small group members, and pastor. It is sharing, in confidence, our heartfelt Christian sojourn in an atmosphere of trust. Then, we can give an answer for what we do and understand where we need help in areas where we are weak and struggling, where and how we are growing, what we are learning, and to be encouraged. These precepts help us to stay on track, and get prayer, care, and support when we fail. We can also model guideposts for one another in order to keep going.
Accountability may seem to go against our self-sufficient, individualistic mindsets and fear of conviction. Most cultures and individuals like to be "my own person," and thus do "my own thing." Most people do not like being told what to do or how to do it. But, we need godly people in our lives to do just that-with love and care. Thus, we have to learn to overcome our barriers of conviction so we can grow more in Christ and with one another.
The stresses of life and the hassles of family will get us down and test our limits; even the best-run family will have this problem from time to time. So, how can we tell if we're just tired or are experiencing burnout? First, we need to ask ourselves the accountability questions. If we are operating in His precepts, it is probably just exhaustion. However, if we find ourselves being apathetic and detached from our families, we have a problem.
Accountability is often associated with a place to be helped with some kind of problem or addiction such as drinking, drugs, smoking, pornography, or some other recovery issue. Yes, this is can be a principle venue; however, the emphasis should be our spiritual growth which infuses our thinking and behaviors and helps in overcoming addictions. It is not about just overcoming addictions; it is being overcome with Christ as Lord of our lives.
The key to making this work is for you and the other participants to be open, submissive, listening, and authentic so you can confess your sins in a safe, confidential environment. Remember that Christian maturity and character is "Christ-likeness," becoming more like our Lord by living out His precepts.
Here are some key Accountability questions you can ask yourself and/or have a mentor ask you. "Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." -- James 5:15-16
Here is a chart that lists two sets of Fruit and ways of living. One side represents Christ's redemptive work that we comply to continue by being grateful, pursuing His Grace and applying His Fruit into our daily lives. The other side represents the corruption of sin, the old self that we are called to get rid of.
The Complete Downloadable Accountability
Curriculum in a PDF File