Debunking the Myths
Sitting across from someone, asking a list of sin management questions, then finally asking if they have lied to you is a poor imitation of accountability. Real accountability is getting â€˜on the scaleâ€™ to see if the application is working. Ideally, what lifewalking means is that we are â€˜in each otherâ€™s stuffâ€™ enough to see what is working, what isnâ€™t working, and what needs to be worked on.
True accountability attempts to answer the question “Is what I am doing facilitating spiritual transformation?” To put it another way, ‘Am I allowing the Spirit to transform me in my habits, actions, and thoughts. ‘
Choose You This Day
Iâ€™m guessing that right now you are thinking â€“ how in the world do you measure that? Most of that work is internal, some of it is external but if we only judge/evaluate the external we are on the road to becoming incredible legalists. To further complicate things, others can see more objectively what is working and what isn’t in our lives than we can. How then do we exercise this discipline?
I think it all comes down to choices.
1. Choose to be real and authentic. Yes, it is risky and yes, you will be misunderstood. Yes, you can and probably will get hurt. But there is NO accountability without this.
2. Choose to engage. If you see a glimpse of something that isnâ€™t quite â€˜rightâ€™ or genuine â€“ love them enough to engage in their world. Catch the wording of this â€“ engage their world. Find out what is going on by lifewalking with them. Earn the right to speak truth.
If we are honest with ourselves, most of us have a leaning. We either lean toward loving and caring but find it excruciatingly painful to speak truthfully about stuff we see in someoneâ€™s life, OR we lean toward speaking truth to people that we know nothing about their context or situation. Weâ€™ll be quick to give advice, but sit in a waiting room for an hour just listening is a waste of time in our minds.
They are both needed. Remember our airplane talk? Same principle here. Itâ€™s imperative for you to speak the truth, but it is equally imperative that we do that in love. The best way to communicate love is still time. So choose to lifewalk with people AND speak the truth.
3. Choose to be teachable, not broken. If you have to have it all together and perfect, guess what gift God is going to bring to your world? Brokenness. He will wreck something in your world that you canâ€™t fix if only for the reason to break your will. So be teachable, no matter what side of the conversation you find yourself on.
4. Choose grace over book-keeping. Since we are all messes, letâ€™s choose grace over keeping the books. Letâ€™s choose to celebrate wins and to learn from our losses as opposed to grieving over them. Sin and screw-ups have their own consequences to deal with without adding a layer of guilt to them.
Final Not-So-Random Thought
We must focus on BEING accountable, not keeping others that way. Thatâ€™s the key in seeing if Godâ€™s word is working in our life. We must CHOOSE to be accountable.
The focus can never be on KEEPING other accountable. It just doesnâ€™t work. That is why itâ€™s possible to meet every week for breakfast at IHOP for accountability and still be shocked to read in the paper that one of the guys has a lover and is leaving his family.
If we want to see a Jesus transformation take place in us, we must be accountable.