Originally published Tuesday, 28 August 2012.
You need accountability in your life. You need folks who aren't afraid to ask you the tough questions. You need friends who aren't afraid to say the hard things, dig a little deeper. None of us "have arrived" in our Christian walk. We need relationships with others who will challenge us, encourage us, and frankly, call us out, when we are off the beaten path. Lack of accountability in one's life almost certainly leads to the danger zone. Don't do life alone.
I need help in my parenting, my friendships, my work. And you do, too. God made us for relationships. I need someone to sometimes say to me, "Girl, what did you just say to your son? You could have said that nicer." Or "Hey,did you get some Bible time in today? What's God speaking to your heart?" God works through people. I have found more often than not, when someone says such a thing to me, it is God's gentle reminder to keep me on track in my life.
It's always interesting to me when I have a conversation with a fellow Christian who says things like, "Yeah, I don't really like people getting into my business too much." Or "I'm kind of a private person." Or "I prefer to listen more than share."
Okay, I get it. Not everyone is a babbling brook that needs to share every emotion the moment they experience it, like yours truly, but accountability is scriptural. You should have someone that you are locking arms with in life that isn't afraid to gently remind you of God's plan for you.
"As iron sharpens iron, so does a friend sharpen a friend." Prov 27:17
"Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed. " James 5:16
"If another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path." Gal 6:1
I have often said that the hardest thing about ministry is accountability. It is certainly easier to ignore behavior than address it. And it is even harder when the other party isn't open to receiving direction. We should all be open to godly wisdom and counsel. Actually, we should crave it. When we pray things like, "God give me wisdom. Show me your ways. Help me grow closer to you daily, " why, then, are we surprised that he delivers that through others?
Author/speaker, Jennifer Maggio, is one of the nation's leading authorities on single parents and women's issues. She is an award-winning author and founder of The Life of a Single Mom Ministries. She currently oversees one of the nation's largest single moms support groups and has helped to launch more than 500 others in churches around the globe. She is a regular on radio and television. For more information, visit http://www.thelifeofasinglemom.com.