Who is that one person, or perhaps a group of really close friends, that you trust exclusively with your life? These are people who you know you can confide in without fear of condescension, without fear of ridicule; people who choose to build you up instead of tearing you down? Do you have these kinds of friends? If you do, we want to encourage you in these kinds of relationships this week. If you do not have this kind of a friend, we would like to implore you, no; beg you, to seek out these people immediately.
As pastors, there is this thrust to go through life alone. Being the lead dog is never easy, and having baggage only makes it more difficult. Notice the life of the Apostle Paul though. Early on in his ministry, he had a man named Barnabas (whose name literally means “the encourager”) as his partner in ministry. The first time you see Paul and Barnabas together, what is Barnabas doing? He’s speaking on behalf of Paul.
This is the one of the goals of a well functioning accountability relationship: to have another speak on your behalf. The only way you can get to this point in your relationship is to be completely transparent with another person. They have to know the real you, even if it’s messy. Here’s this Apostle Paul, whose former life as Saul was a murderous and evil man, who made a living off of killing those of the Way (Christians). Then there’s this guy named Barnabas, who after Saul’s conversion (when he became Paul)m spoke up for him, on his behalf, despite the mess. You see, when the Lord does a work in your life, you need an encourager who can speak for you when your life comes into question.
For further guidance on this issue, remember the plan we spoke about last week when we talked about being transparent with your supervisors. Here is a reminder of those five steps to use with them, contextualized for accountability relationships. Ask yourself: what will it take to implement this strategy in my life in order for it to make a real and lasting difference?
- Present your struggles to your accountability partner or partners.
- Work on an accountability plan with your accountability partner or partners.
- Regularly discuss your struggles and acknowledge slip-ups when they occur.
- Never hide anything.
- Work through this as friends, brothers and sisters in Christ.
Are you looking for accountability? Are you looking for a place to be around others who know your struggles? Take a moment to look into X3 Groups Online and take that step toward purity today.