Accountability is a word that isn’t specifically mentioned in the Scriptures, though there are a lot of passages that speak to exhorting and confronting one another in truth. One passage is Galatians 6:1-2. One truth to take away from this passage is that if you are caught in sin, you need to be restored by someone who lives by the Spirit. We’re not designed to pull our way out of our spiritual ruts in our own strength. If you’re in the position of providing accountability for someone else you should do it.
To that end, here are some principles regarding accountability that I took from Heath Lambert’s book Finally Free: Fighting For Purity With The Power Of Grace.
- Effective accountability doesn’t rely exclusively on accountability. What he means by this is that an individual should broaden their use of weapons; individuals can use godly sorrow, gratitude, their spouse, humility, prayer, fasting, Scripture memory, etc.
- Effective accountability is involved early rather than late. A lot of groups are forums for delayed confession Lambert says, when in reality they should be confessing in the moment they’re tempted. In addition, merely reporting is not helpful…an individual needs to declare their need for help.
- Effective accountability involves someone with maturity. Someone who is spiritual is someone who is more advanced than yourself in the area of struggle.
- Effective accountability involves someone with authority. It’s a sobering reality to be called to repentance by someone in authority.
- Effective accountability should avoid explicit details. Paul says that we should have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness…(Eph 5:11-12).
- Effective accountability places the responsibility for confession on the person w/the problem – the onus is on the confessor.
- Effective accountability must actually hold people accountable and it’s simply more than meeting regularly.
What are your thoughts regarding this list? Would you add any other principles?