“Here I Go Again” was a famous song by Whitesnake in the early 80’s. One of the famous lines from the the song was “like a drifter, I was born to walk alone”. While I have always personally enjoyed this song, I’m not quite sure it offers up the best advice. Of course, I’m pretty positive that was not their intention. The big hair bands of the late 70’s and 80’s gave us some power ballads to listen to and lifestyles to refrain from. The “good times are killing us” is a fitting theme to the lives lived by many of those bands.
I was on a flight from DFW to Kansas City several months back. As the plane went wheels up, I was turning in my bible to start reading. The first verse I read was Proverbs 18:1. This verse says, “He who isolates himself seeks his own desire, he rages against all wise judgement.” Talk about an impacting first verse to read!! Immediately I felt the presence of the Lord and Him speaking to me. It was obvious that God had pulled out his highlighter making sure that this truth sunk into me. The type of sinking in not just to live by, but to model and teach to others as well.
As I have grown in my faith over the past 17 years, I have increasingly understood and valued the importance of accountability. We are not called to do life alone. We are wired to desire and enjoy family, friendship and companionship. Even the biggest of introverts still desires to have people in their lives albeit on their own terms, of course. Friends and family are necessary and important, but their is still yet another level when it comes to accountability. James 5:16 says, “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 truth is that we need someone in our life that we can go deep with. Someone we can trust and be a strong arm of standard, support and consistency. Remember, isolation is not an option. We are instructed to not live as a loner but to thrive as someone accountable. Everyone has difficulties, vices, struggles etc. that need to be consistently discussed, prayed over and opened up to the Lord so his healing power can rule and reign. This is what James 5:16 is referring to.
Let me give you a few simple steps to see accountability implemented and actively working in your life:
Ask the Lord to show you someone to be accountable with. It could be a spouse (some recommend this, others do not), a pastor or leader in the church you respect or a friend who you admire and appreciate the life they lead. It might not be who you expect or even someone you think is ideal, but trust the Lord’s promptings in this area.
Be consistent. Accountability is not just for a season. People your accountable with can change, but the intentionality behind living a life accountable should not. For some, once a month is sufficient. For others that are in a dark or difficult season or working through a sin issue might need to meet weekly or twice weekly. The key is to obey the Holy Spirits leading here for what promotes the greatest health and healing.
Be a good listener. Whether you are the one needing the most help or the one dishing out the help, caring and learning through your listening is essential.
Know that accountability is only as good as the truth being spoken. Be up front, honest and don’t “beat around the bush” when it comes to the topics that need attention, prayer & healing. Transparency is a vital cog in making sure that accountability is working well!
Celebrate the “Wins” together. Many times accountability can linger in the dark places where sin, shame and vices dominate. Each meeting there should be a time to celebrate the wins and the faithfulness of the Lord for his grace and mercy to overcome.
Specific prayer is vital. Be sure to pray and ask God to come, minister and help even in the most embarrassing and difficult struggles. He already knows who we are and what we have done, no need to hide it or generalize it. Bring prayer into every facet and let the healing of the Lord prevail!
Speak truth. In every meeting, bring the Word of God into it and let His word wash over both of you. His truth dispels the lies of the enemy and those lies are the roots we need dug up. Read and pray scripture over one another.
The truth is that accountability is talked about in sweeping ways throughout the church. The reality is that true, deep accountability is rarely walked out in a consistent, life giving way. We should not be intimidated or ashamed by who we are, what we have done or what our struggles currently are. God wants to help us through accountability. I have personally felt and experienced the truth of weekly accountability in my life. Let me tell you, it is so refreshing and worth it!
Don’t be a drifter. Don’t walk the road alone. Life is best lived with others. Life is best lived accountable!
By: Marvin Slaton
** I also preached a sermon on Proverbs 18:1, which you can find HERE.
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