Question: "What does the Bible say on the importance of accountability?"
Answer: With much temptation already in the world today, Satan is working overtime to create even more. We must have a brother or sister we can count on when we are facing temptations that threaten our spiritual lives. King David was alone the evening he was tempted into adultery by Satan. It may have appeared to be Bathsheba who tempted him (2 Samuel 11), but the Bible tells us we fight a war not of flesh but of the spirit, against powers and spiritual forces who threaten us (Ephesians 6:12).
Knowing we are in a battle against the forces of darkness, we should want as much help as we can gather around us. In Ephesians, Paul tells us that we must be equipped with all the power that God supplies to fight this battle. “Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand” (Ephesians 6:13). Paul realized that even if we equip ourselves with everything God has to offer in defense of evil, we are still human and we may not always be able to resist Satan’s temptations. We know without a doubt that temptation will come.
Satan knows our weaknesses, and he knows when we are vulnerable. He knows when a married couple is fighting and perhaps feeling that someone else might understand them better. He knows when a child has been punished by his parents and might be feeling spiteful. He knows when things are not going well at work and knows how that reminds us of the bar that is on the way home. Where do we find help if we have done all we can do to fight the battle? We want to do what is right in the sight of God, yet we are weak. What do we do?
Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend's countenance.” A friend’s countenance is a look or expression of encouragement or moral support. When is the last time you had a friend call you just to ask how you were doing? When is the last time you called a friend and asked her if she needed to talk? Encouragement and moral support from a friend are sometimes the missing ingredients in fighting the battle against Satan.
The writer of Hebrews summed it up when he said, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching…” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Accountability is crucially important in the battle to overcome sin. An accountability partner can be there to encourage you, to rebuke you, to teach you, to rejoice with you, and to weep with you. Every Christian should have an accountability partner with whom he or she can pray, talk, confide, and confess.
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