What comes to your mind when you hear the word “accountability?” Merriam Webster says accountability is an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions. (Trivia side note: this word was first used in 1794!)
What does accountability look like in your life? Are you accountable to anyone? Do you have an accountability partner? Is being accountable to someone else a positive, helpful part of your life? Or is it safer to keep something a secret so no one knows?
King Solomon understood the power of accountability.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 NLT)
Why do I need accountability in my life? Being accountable to someone makes me vulnerable. They might see my weakness and lack of self-control. They might judge me. How can these things help me along in my journey if they just make me feel worse? I am my own worst “accountability partner.” I point out my own weakness and lack of self-control. Oh, how I judge myself with harsh words and negative, distorted thoughts. I should just keep my mouth shut and not breathe a word about my failings to anyone… especially myself.
Hmmmm, this makes me think that maybe I should reach out and find someone else who might be that accountability partner with me. Sounds like they might be a bit easier on me than I am on myself! When I admit failure, they might be able to help me recover…“the other can reach out and help.” They might be able to provide comfort and friendship in the difficult times…“two people lying close together can keep each other warm.” They might be able to help me when I feel vulnerable against defeat…“two can stand back-to-back and conquer.”
So, let me think about this… beat myself up alone or find someone to walk the journey with; to encourage and help along the way. This should be a no-brainer. Who would not want a friend to come alongside and walk the journey with them? Who would not want to be encouraged and comforted? Being accountable to someone runs a risk of actually being successful in whatever it is that we are working through. Wow…. success in a struggling area… that brings up a whole new layer of ones self to be reckoned with. Might breaking free from that “thing” that has been our identity for so long actually change our lives for the better? Might we actually enjoy freedom from some bondage that has been holding us back from being all that God intended for us to be? Yep… I think I might just be in the market for an accountability partner to share this journey with. I’ve always heard that two are better than one.