Accountability Partner Love Letter

Dear Accountability Partners,

I hate you.

Love (not),

Amy

It’s a common trend among us evangelical Christians to purposely seek out accountability from others for our spiritual growth. Simply put, we all struggle with a bunch of crap and need each other to help us through said crap. So, our conversations go like this:

“Hey, I’ve been struggling in a certain area of my life, and I was wondering if you would be my accountability partner.”

“Wow, I’d love to be your accountability partner! I’m also struggling in a certain area of my life – wanna be my accountability partner?”

“Dude, you know I do!”

And off we go. Here’s what this accountability typically looks like:

“Hey, how have you been doing with (insert area of struggle here)?”

“Well, I (insert area of struggle here)ed three times this week.”

“Okay. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll pray that next week is better! Are you gonna eat that biscuit?”

While intentions are pure, I don’t see this as helpful. Prayer is powerful and effective. Confession is good for the soul. But if our focus is on behavior, we’re going to fail every time, even with “accountability”.

I struggle with crap, and I have a very small number of women who help me with my crap through accountability. Here is what I’m learning:

1. I initiate my accountability to them. I cannot sit around and wait for them to hold me accountable. They have spouses, kids, jobs, lives…. so while their desire is to help me, they don’t always initiate connection with me when I need it. Once I reach out to them, they are there for me. I can’t ask someone to hold me accountable if I won’t first hold myself accountable to them.

2.  It’s not about my behavior. Behaviors are symptoms. Ultimately, accountability is not about behavior modification; it’s about the soul. I need accountability for the lies I believe in my mind that fuel my behaviors. I need accountability for the rebellion in my heart that produces death. I need accountability for the emotions that I allow to define my reality and drag me into self-pity and despair.

3. It’s about the journey. Accountability, in it’s truest form, is when we decide to experience sanctification together – loving and supporting one another as we are bent and stretched into the image of Christ. And that is a lifelong pursuit. I don’t just want behavior change – I want ME change (most of the time).

4. I need love. True accountability is tough. I know the women I’ve invited into my life love me. A lot. Because when I believe lies and have a rebellious heart and am led by emotions, they stick with me. Their goal is not to change my behavior; their goal is to love me.

Dear Accountability Partners,

I love you.

And yes, I’m going to eat that biscuit.

Amy

 

 

 

 

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