Accountability Is Vitally Necessary
Read Proverbs Chapter 28
Pr 28:13 He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.
The importance of having an accountability partner cannot be overemphasized. Throughout the word of God, the call for confession and repentance is repeated. Our first duty is to confess to God, which would seem to us to be sufficient. But apparently God has a different take on it. He says it is also important for us to confess to someone else; hence the need for an accountability partner. We can only speculate as to the reasons why God has given us that instruction, but I think we can have a pretty good idea.
Confession to God alone can become trivial in our minds if we are not careful. Because we sin often, our confession to Him can become routine and unintentionally lose some of its significance. But if we have to talk to someone face to face about our mistakes, we are more likely to think twice before we act. It might seem silly to think that we would rather confess to God than to man, but that is the case. Why? Because God already knows what we have done. We aren’t giving Him additional information. That accountability partner is getting a fresh revelation into the darkest corners of our being. We don’t like that.
King David could have spared himself a lot of grief if he had confessed to the prophet Nathan on his own accord. But he didn’t. Therefore, God gave Nathan a revelation of the truth, hence the dramatic confrontation between David and Nathan. Perhaps we can avoid having our dirty laundry hung out to dry in full view of the world, if we will but confess to a trusted friend. I do not believe that our sins must be confessed to an entire congregation. I’ve seen that played out with disastrous results. Neither do I believe we have to keep a list of all our transgressions and make sure we’ve covered them all. Each of us will know which sins need to be confessed to our trusted friend.
As we become comfortable in our accountability brother relationship, there is a danger we must avoid. If we come to him with an unrepentant attitude, out of duty rather than sincere humility, the confession will have lost its meaning. We must choose an accountability partner who will balance out his response, including both compassion and a mild scolding. Our partner must not excuse our sins without also including some measure of rebuke. We need both the rebuke and the compassion. One without the other will be ineffective.
Jas 5:16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
There is another reason that confession is important. Our secret sins will eat us up inside if we do not share them with someone. Even though we know that we are forgiven by God, the burden of carrying around a fear of discovery brings us great stress. Our accountability partner can relieve that burden.
Prayer: Your plan is always perfect. The peace we receive by confession and repentance is priceless. Thank You for providing us a way to overcome our guilt and shame. You are an awesome God!