If you have big dreams and goals, but hesitate to trust they can actually happen, then learning about accountability in the bible and implementing a few simple strategies can ensure this year is your best year yet!
Stepping into a new year, you hear a great deal about resolutions, goals, or the setting and breaking of habits.
What were the goals you set for 2023? Maybe your goals revolved around your family – the things you would do together or the places you would go. Your goals might have been around your health – to eat healthier or to exercise more. You might have even set spiritual goals to spend more time in the Word and to pray regularly.
Setting goals, as long as they are Christ-honoring, is wise! The problem is that most resolutions in the new year do not pan out. Why is that?
There are many reasons resolutions do not last. The goal might be too lofty and unreasonable for your stage of life. Circumstances outside your control keep you from succeeding at your goals, such as an illness or an injury.
Maybe another reason resolutions fail is due to a lack of accountability. You would be much more likely to keep up with your Bible reading plan or your twice-weekly exercise routine if you have a friend committing to the goal with you. Right?
Accountability is a powerful tool that believers should tap into to reach goals or create new habits. What is accountability, and why is it important? Let’s answer that below.
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A technical definition of accountability from Merriam-Webster is:
“an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions”.
To be accountable is to take ownership of your decisions. Or, more simply, do what you said you would do.
Accountability can come in various shapes and forms. Checklists, small groups, one-on-one mentorship relationships, tracking apps, etc., are all examples of accountability.
Consider the many benefits of accountability. It is easier to stay on track when you are accountable to another person than solely to yourself. Why? Because we are broken human beings!
It might be easy to exercise each day for the first couple of weeks of the new year. Then when the fatigue hits or life gets busy again, it can be tempting to tell yourself, “I’ll go tomorrow” when the alarm goes off each morning. However, if you knew that a friend was outside your front door at 6:00 each morning, you would be less likely to sleep in and more likely to press into your goal.
There is something powerful about having someone be “in it” with you to help you stay on track.
Learn God’s intention for Time Stewardship
Embrace a rhythm of working and resting and get more done! Take our Purposeful Productivity Challenge and find more time for the daily tasks that matter and quickly begin creating routines that prioritize rest.
How Accountability Nourishes Believers
More than just on a practical level of staying on track, the importance of accountability goes deeper on a nourishment level for believers.
Biblical accountability can be life-giving when prioritized and held in high regard. Through a relationship of Christian accountability, a believer can find a safe place to receive both love and grace while remaining free in honesty. Within accountability are opportunities to extend forgiveness, bear one another’s burdens, and encourage and challenge.
This safe place is not often found in the world, making Christian accountability an even sweeter and richer place to be nourished and grow.
So, what is the importance of accountability? Accountability is critical because it is easy to hide, pretend, and come up with excuses on our own. We are all broken people needing grace amid struggles against sin, circumstances outside our control, insecurities, and temptations.
Accountability gives you a place to find the strength to resist temptation, remain faithful to your calling, and receive prayer and encouragement from other believers walking life alongside you.
Finding Christian Accountability
How do you find that level of accountability? The beauty of the church is finding community right in your local body of believers.
You can find accountability in your small group, in a Bible study setting, or through a Christian counselor. If you know of an older woman at church that you would benefit from learning from, you can ask her to mentor you one-on-one.
Fellow moms know the struggle of living a Biblical life while raising little ones, working, keeping a home, and supporting a husband. If you want to feel seen and understood and find accountability to keep Christ at the center, find a mama in your friend circle to walk alongside you. Chances are, she is looking for the same level of accountability to live a Christ-centered life as you are.
Find the mom friend you trust and ask her about becoming an accountability partner. Set goals and communication strategies on the front end. You will also want to talk about how to approach issues and support one another best in staying on track.
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Accountability in the Bible
We can talk about accountability, but what does the Bible say? Let’s look at these four Scriptures about accountability to take a biblical approach to understand it.
Galatians 6:1-5 (ESV)
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his load.
This passage is perfect for identifying the value of accountability in relationships. Believers are called to live in community and restore one another with gentleness after sin. We are called to bear one another’s burdens, bringing strength and encouragement to our brothers and sisters in Christ.
James 5:16 (ESV)
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
The joy of accountability is the safety to confess our sins to one another knowing that there is no judgment but forgiveness and grace.
Luke 17:3 (ESV)
We see in this verses that believers are to
“Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him”.
Healthy accountability gives room for confession, forgiveness, repentance, and restoration. Believers have been set free from the bonds of sin in Christ. Yet, while living in a broken world, having someone to help you stay on track to living a Godly life is a beautiful part of the Christian body.
Proverbs 27:17 (ESV)
“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Consider how you can help another believer and how they can help you through the gift of accountability. Sharpen one another toward a more intimate prayer life, deeper knowledge of the Word, and greater commitment to the callings of a believer.
Accountability to Encourage and Challenge Your Faith
The importance of accountability goes beyond a simple coffee date and surface-level conversation. True Christian accountability gives you the space and safety to confess sins, pray together, study the Word, and set goals that enable you to keep Christ at the center of your life and home.
Find a group, a friend, or a mentor to help you stay on track as you fix your eyes on Christ together. If you need help finding an accountability partner, reach out to your pastor, or someone you respect in your local church. Ask for help in ensuring you find the accountability you need and desire.
Written By: Brittany Thieman
Being a working mom is challenging, and the pressure to “do it all” can feel overwhelming. Thankfully, we can learn from Scripture and from other moms to live out our callings while keeping the Gospel at the center of our homes.
My name is Brittany, and I work as a Director of Operations for a company and run a small business while raising my two young daughters and baby boy on the way. My husband is a pastor, and we just recently relocated from North Carolina to Texas for a new church position. The Lord has taught us much in this busy and tiring season. I hope to encourage other mamas in their journey toward pursuing Christ in the messiness, beauty, and fatigue of motherhood.