Someone to Watch Over Me
Bible Reading: James 5:16-18
Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed—James 5:16.
“Accountability” is a six-syllable word for having someone who kindly but directly tells you when you’re messing up—and what you need to do. Accountability means having teachers who give assignments, grade them, then pat you on the back or slam you into detention. Accountability means having coaches who make you run wind-sprints until you heave and who call for a stretcher when you break a body part. Like it or not, accountability keeps you on track.
There’s also spiritual accountability. You need to be accountable to another Christian—a mature Christian—who can help you when you hurt and correct you when you’re headed for a crash and don’t know it. You might never have thought about that, but it’s a major step to help you grow in your Christian life.
James 5: 16 show two pieces of a good accountability partnership. Number one: An accountability partner is someone you can talk to about your temptations and sins—and who won’t treat you like you’re stupid even when you fail. Number two: An accountability partner is someone who will pray with you about your weaknesses and stick with you as you grow up in God.
Got any Christian friends like that? Here’s more of what you want to look for—a checklist of characteristics for someone who can keep you accountable in your spiritual life:
A mature Christian. You can learn from young Christians. But you can only grab wisdom from a mature Christian who has known both success and failure.
Someone you trust. Your confession and prayer partner must be someone you can trust with your darkest secrets, as well as someone who will trust you. You must also be able to feel certain that your partner will keep all the confidences you share.
Someone of the same sex. Some of your closest friends are probably of the opposite sex. But for accountability its best that guys seek a guy partner and girls, a girl partner. Meeting with someone of the same sex gives you an advantage in being honest and understanding-and also prevents, well, distractions.
Someone nearby. Your best friend who moved two thousand miles away last year can still help you grow. But look for someone nearby who can get together with you often. It’s ideal to have this be someone you see nearly every day.
REFLECT: That’s a tall order. Who in your life can fit that description of an accountability partner?
PRAY: Ask God to guide you to someone who will be a helpful confession and prayer partner.
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