Accountability. Depending upon where one is at on their recovery journey, this word can bring dread and cold chills, or comfort, security and freedom. For those still struggling with coming to grips with their secrecy issue(s) [see last week’s post], this word could be viewed as other side of the same old coin: different face, same dilemma.
The thought of being accountable to someone else can certainly make our skin crawl, particularly if our sins still have us firmly locked in their chains. In this case we are often afraid to let anyone know where we really are on our road to recovery. We are afraid to let them see who we think we are on the inside, or to let them know we are struggling, or possibly failing. If we were to honestly open ourselves up to the accountability of God, others, or even ourselves, we feel we run the risk of ridicule, rejection, or even punishment.
This brings to mind King David. Who had an affair with Bathsheba and, after realizing he had fathered an illegitimate child, had her husband, Uriah the Hittite, killed in an attempt to cover for this sin. In Psalm 32:3-4, David later described the negative effects that he experienced when he was hiding his sins: “When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; my vitality was turned into the drought of summer. Selah.” (NKJV)
This heaviness of heart and feelings of guilt are commonplace for those of us who are attempting to remain in hiding and continue to conceal our sins and shortcomings. Thankfully, this does not have to be our final state. This is particularly true when we have someone in whom we are able to confide in and from whom we can seek godly counsel. There is safety in taking counsel in this manner, and it is also something that we are admonished to do throughout Scriptures, such as these verses from Proverbs:
Proverbs 11:14: Where [there is] no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors [there is] safety.
Proverbs 24:6: For by wise counsel you will wage your own war, and in a multitude of counselors [there is] safety.
Not only is there safety and wisdom in seeking the counsel of others, but we can also attain comfort and healing through this process as well:
James 5:1: Confess [your] trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
Galatians 6:1-2: Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who [are] spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
Not only should it be safe to share our struggles with an accountability partner, that partner needs to be free to confront us when he/she sees something in our lives that needs to be addressed. Much like Nathan when he confronted David over his sins concerning Uriah and Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:1-15), following which David confessed, and repented of, his sins before God and received forgiveness, but he still had to bear the consequences of his actions:
I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” and You forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah (Psalm 32:5)
We need to find someone with whom we can share our struggles, to rely on to strengthen our resolve, and who will not shy away from holding us accountable when they see we are in sin. Most importantly, we need to ensure we are accountable to God. In fact, He calls us to come and talk with Him in order that our sins me be forgiven:
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool”. (Isaiah 1:18)
If you have not already done so, I urge you to build a good, strong, and godly accountability network to walk alongside you as you continue on your recovery journey. Couple this with the power of being accountable to God, and you have the makings of a strong accountability team.
Two [are] better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him [who is] alone when he falls, for [he has] no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; but how can one be warm [alone]? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Taking Every Thought Captive!