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How To Be An Accountability Partner

Pastor Andrew SchankDo you like being held accountable? Before you answer the question, you had better think about it a minute or two. Each of us like to be lauded and bragged upon for doing something well. We like receiving raises at our place of employment. We even like getting bonuses for doing a swell job for someone. While each of the aforementioned scenarios are desirable forms of accountability there is another side of the equation that few really want to explore.

Accountability is something that God is very much involved in and carries out in our life whether we like it or not. It is so needful in our lives as believers that Jesus used various parables illustrating the numerous aspects of it to teach spiritual truths. From a very young age we learn about accountability from our loving parents and we try to pass along its importance to the next generation of young people as we mature. It is safe to say that most know how accountability works and why it is important even though we detest it when we do not measure up.

Every believer needs accountability and God desires that His children help each other in the process. Many verses can be cited to drive home this precept. We will focus on one such passage. Consider Galatians 6:1…

(Galatians 6:1) “Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.” (KJV)

The Apostle Paul, under inspiration of the Holy Spirit of God, made it absolutely clear that Spirit led children of God were to restore folks that had fallen into sin. In the context of the previous chapters this error could be both doctrinal and/or other fruits of carnality.

In view of this passage, I would like to make the following recommendations as to how each of us can be an effective accountability partner…

  1. An accountability partner must know Christ as their own personal Savior. The word “brethren” is used and it implies the brotherhood of believers. It is futile to ask someone to help hold you accountable in a particular area if they do not have the Spirit of God in them. Accountability requires more than just clever psychology from an unsaved individual, it demands insight from a Spirit-filled child of God.
  2. An accountability partner must be filled with the Holy Spirit (Compare with Ephesians 5:18). This nowhere implies that one must be or is perfectly mature, nor does it suggest that age has anything to do with being spiritual. It does carry the idea of an even-natured response where the accountability partner has his or her emotions under control. It suggests that there is not only a desire on the part of the accountability partner to live a holy life, but there is ample evidence in their own life that this desire is bearing fruit.
  3. An accountability partner must have a Biblical view of the sin in question. If someone is overtaken by a sin or by a false teaching, then the partner must have a proper understanding of the layout. This can be easily illustrated by a recovery vehicle attempting to winch an automobile from a muddy ditch. The tow truck driver has to have a keen grasp of the situation. So it is with spiritual matters. An accountability partner must not be a soul who is ignorant of Biblical teaching. Thus, it would be very unwise to seek accountability concerning the consumption of strong drink from a drunkard.
  4. An accountability partner must exercise “tough love”. The Scripture specifically uses the word “restore” as a job description of the accountability partner. It carries the idea of bringing something back to its original condition. The same word is used where the disciples were said to be “mending” their nets. (Matthew 4:21 & Mark 1:19) It has often been described that to restore is much like a doctor setting a broken limb. The doctor has to be firm, but gentle at the same time. If people are to be matured or perfected from a “fault”, then it will take an individual who will be both honest with Biblical truth and share it firmly in a loving spirit! (Ephesians 4:15)
  5. An accountability partner must have the right attitude. A Christian must not condemn nor criticize a fallen brother, but rather seek to bring them back into a proper position in the spirit of meekness. (Compare with II Timothy 2:25) The idea here is that one must control their speech, attitude/demeanor, and overall response while seeking to restore. If not, then the very sin in question could easily be found in the accountability partner.

God calls each of us into a loving relationship with Himself. When we respond in repentance towards God and faith in the merits of the Lord Jesus Christ and His finished work on the cross we can be redeemed. From this New birth experience we are called to walk of life characterized by holiness and faith. At times people fail to live up to this and fall into the traps of sin. It is the responsibility of spiritually minded believers to act as accountability partners in an effort to restore those overtaken into proper fellowship with God and the brethren, as well as to lead them to such a place as they can enjoy their relationship with God. This cannot be done apart from the leadership of God’s Holy Spirit.

If these suggestions have helped you see the need of being a better accountability partner or if you have been shown by the Holy Spirit that you need to be one in order to help a brother or sister in Christ, then please feel free to let us know. It would be an encouragement to us. Also, if this helped you… it could help someone else. Share it on your favorite Social media site or email to a friend or colleague.