When I was nine years old, my pastor gave me his pocketknife as a gift. I still have it to this day, and it makes me smile when I think of his kindness to me. My Dad taught me how to sharpen the knife with a sharpening stone. What makes a knife sharper is the combination of friction, heat, and very close contact.
In Proverbs 27:17, Solomon said, "As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another."
When believers form a close relationship for "sharpening" one another, we call this accountability.
God intended for us to share our lives in the context of community. The natural result is spiritual growth. Today, accountability is the missing discipleship component in most Christian's lives. No one is watching out for their soul. They are not open, honest, and vulnerable with anyone.
In all of the New Testament writings, there is no concept of Christianity lived in isolation. This idea would have been foreign to the Apostles.
Acts 2:44 says, "All the believers were together..."
Accountability provides so much spiritual growth because it allows for a safe place for us to be honest, confess our sins, celebrate our victories, pray for one another, and share what we are learning. Together we process what God is doing in our lives. We wrestle with the Scripture and how to apply it to our lives. We are not alone on the journey.
So, how do we find this much-needed accountability?
The accountability relationship doesn't have to be in person. You could talk by phone, zoom, or even text. A close friend and I have texted each other every morning for the past five years. I can't begin to tell you how much this relationship has strengthened my walk with God.
Now that you have decided to begin growing through an accountability relationship, here is a list of questions to consider using (in no particular order). As you meet for accountability, pick a question or two you will discuss.
Accountability relationships are developed over time. As trust grows, the connection deepens, and it provides a tool for spiritual growth. Take it slow and keep the focus on inspiring one another towards being more like Jesus.
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