NO WOMAN IS AN ISLAND
We just can’t do the Jesus thing alone. This means that community is not an optional part of our spiritual lives. We cannot obey all the “one anothers” in Scripture without “others.”
But there is an aspect of community that is essential for growing deeper in our faith, growing in surrender to Jesus, and growing in our ability to leverage our lives for the Kingdom of God. It is the accountability relationship.
In our day-to-day lives, even if we are faithful church, small group, and Bible study attenders, we rarely allow people into the deepest, darkest parts of our lives. Even if we allow ourselves to be vulnerable with someone and share our struggles, we are rarely consistent to follow-up with one another and allow the conviction of those vulnerable moments to do their mighty work in our lives. Chains stay strong. Sin stays entrenched. Lies stay powerful.
But if we give one or two people permission to hold us accountable to growing in our faith, we can surrender every nook and cranny of our lives to Jesus. Our will, our identity, our relationships, our worldview, and more can be submitted to the lordship of Jesus. Chains break. Sin is cleansed. Lies die.
MY ACCOUNTABILITY JOURNEY
I decided to become a Christian at age twelve and was an active member in church for twenty years before entering into my first accountability relationship. Looking back, I can see the women that Jesus brought into my life were offering accountability to me, but I didn’t think I needed to let anyone in. I didn’t know I was supposed to be progressively surrendering more and more control of my life to Jesus and that accountability was the key to engaging in that process. Like a rebellious coup being overthrown by a Rightful Ruler, my capital city had surrendered to the King, but there was a tremendous amount of guerilla warfare ravaging the borders of my life, keeping me fruitless and ineffective in my faith.
The women that hold me accountable today have known me for over a decade. They see patterns in my life that I don’t notice. They point out my blind spots when my pride blurs my vision. They are NOT my Holy Spirit, though they often serve as my informants of His movement in my life. They know the difference between biblical truth and personal preference and give me freedom where the Bible gives freedom. They love me too much to let me stay stuck in sin.
When I moved from Tampa to Houston, Jesus graciously gave me the opportunity to pour into the lives of the women around me. I’ve been given the privilege of finding new accountability relationships and helping other women grow in surrender to Jesus. Ultimately, we find our gifting and contribution to the Body through this process. Accountability equips us to multiply as disciple-makers.
DO I REALLY NEED AN ACCOUNTABILITY RELATIONSHIP?
Accountability is the key to living an intentional, Jesus-centered life. We are often deceived into thinking that Jesus supports us as we live life on our own terms. We must surrender our rights and live only for His glory, which is also our flourishing. We don’t “make Jesus Lord of our lives.” He is already Lord. We give our allegiance and obedience to Jesus because He is Lord of all creation and has every right to rule every area of our lives because we have been bought by His blood.
HOW DO I GET ONE?
Find a woman whose walk with Christ you admire. Find a woman who has victory in areas in which you struggle. Find a woman who is willing to look into the darkest parts of your life and love you anyway. Ask each other about your singleness or your marriage, where you’re finding your identity, what your emotions are telling you. Ask each other about your finances, your addictions, your biases. Share together what Jesus has taught you since you last met, and where Satan is eating your lunch. Read and study the Bible together. Pray with one another and for one another. And together, you will grow into the women Jesus created you to be, into the women that He died and rose again to empower you to be.