Accountability in Christian relationships is important because it removes the element of isolation from each Christian's walk. Scripture says that we are best suited to walk out our days with a companion and that having two companions is even safer. Our primary accountability is to Christ.
Why is accountability important in the Christian life?
In Mark 6:6–7 we see Jesus sending disciples out in pairs. Hebrews 10:24–25 encourages believers "… consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…" Ecclesiastes 4:9–12 says, "Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken." Although this passage of Ecclesiastes speaks of physical warmth, strength, and assistance when falling down, it can be applied to the need for spiritual encouragement, strength, and help as well. If a friend is seen falling into temptation or sin, Christians are exhorted to correct their brother or sister and help restore them (Galatians 6:1–2). Similarly, even when a particular sin is not an issue, Christians can encourage one another to continue walking strong in faith.
Being accountable to others can help us stand strong in spiritual warfare (Ephesians 6:12). When we confess our sins to one another, we can remind each other of God's faithfulness to forgive (1 John 1:9). Rather than hide in the darkness and shame of our own struggles, being accountable to other believers helps expose us to the light and to life-giving truth. Other Christians can pray for us (James 5:16) and support us in our walk with Christ.
Christians who attempt to walk with God entirely on their own and who do not want to be accountable to a Christian brother or sister for their words or actions, are not walking the Christian walk. Though it is true that we are ultimately accountable to God, it is also true that in Christ we are part of a family and a body (1 Corinthians 12). There is no such thing as a solo Christian. We know that challenges will come in our lives (John 16:33); having accountability with other Christians helps us to press ahead and to continue to live for Christ. An accountability partner can pray with and for us, teach us, rebuke us, rejoice with us, weep with us, and encourage us. We can do the same for others by being mutually accountable.
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