Classic Issue: How to Have an Accountable Relationship
|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Tuesday, August 16 2011 00:00|
Adapted from The Man in the Mirror and The Seven Seasons of a Man's Life (Thomas Nelson Publishers)
I played doubles tennis with a partner who always became angry when I netted the ball. Finally I told him, "Look, give me a break. I would never intentionally hit the ball into the net!" Nobody who trusts Christ with their life intentionally disobeys the scriptures. Men don't fall on purpose. Yet, we see men falling short of their full potential every day. The wheels seem to fall off their wagons. Why?
One of the greatest reasons that men get into trouble is that they don't have to answer to anyone for their lives. Ask around. You will learn that very few men have built accountability into their life.
Every day men fail morally, spiritually, relationally, and financially; not because they don't want to succeed, but because of blind spots and weak spots which they think they can handle on their own. They can't.
Some men have spectacular failures and in a moment of passion they burst into flames, crash, and burn. More often, men make hundreds of tiny, undetected decisions that slowly, like water tapping on a rock, wear down their character. Not blatantly or precipitously, but subtly, we get caught in a web of cutting corners, compromise, and self-deceit. And no one asks us, "How? Why? What? and Who?" Men fall because they don't have to answer to anyone for their behavior and beliefs.
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The Purpose and Definition of Accountability
Suggested Guidelines for A Weekly One-Hour Accountability Check-Up
Proverbs 27:6, 17; Ecclesiastes 4:9, 10; Philippians 2:4, 20; John 13: 34; Galatians 6:1, 2; James 5:16a.
The Weekly One-Hour Accountability CheckUp
I believe no man can stay on track with his God, his family, his friends, his morality, his money, and his vocation unless he has an accountable relationship with other men. The truth for the Biblical Christian is this: There is power in vulnerability, strength in numbers, and safety in visibility.
If you don't have anyone to whom you have given permission to ask how you are really doing, then let me challenge you to fill in this missing link in your life. Take the "Three Week Accountability Challenge": 1. Think of three men who would be good accountability partners for you. 2. Ask each of them to read this article. 3. All four of you make a commitment to meet together for three weeks. If any members don't want to continue after three weeks, find other men to take their place.
A good size for an accountability group is four men. Four men can help each other multiply their strengths and minimize their weaknesses. It is unlikely that four men would all be led astray into the same sin or fail to challenge one of the members on a critical issue. And if one man misses a meeting or drops out, the accountability group can continue.
Are you doing everything you can to guard yourself against the epidemic of falling and failure among men? Make a commitment today to be regularly answerable for each of the key areas of your life to qualified people. It may be the missing piece that helps you to synchronize your behavior with your beliefs and keeps you from spinning out of control.
One more thing. Why not print "The Weekly One-Hour Accountability Check-up" and keep it in a handy place, like your Bible? Use it the next time you meet with other men. You may also order "The Weekly One-Hour Accountability Check-up" here.