Accountability vs. Judgment

Accountability is hard for me. My church does this thing called “accountability partners”. I think it’s lame. It seems like such a faddish thing to do in our church. I’d never heard this term before, and suddenly everyone was talking about accountability. And these are people who I don’t believe have any real sins. It sounded to me like this big AA movement. And it sounded like my Catholic days, when we had to confess to a priest.

My whole thing is, confession is to God. And if you need to speak to another human about it, so be it. But confession is to God. Maybe partnering in accountability works for some people, but all I saw was people wanting to be held accountable for how many times they opened their bibles. Lame.

Anyway, I was asked to do accountability, and I’ve had my resevervations about it. It’s been a struggle to stay consistant and true to the format. But it’s also been a blessing, because I’ve shared parts of my life that I’ve never shared before, and it has opened my eyes to behaviors I need to change, big and small, and ones I never would have paid attention to before. I still believe the truest form of accountability and confession is between us and Christ, but I can also see that by admitting certain aspects outloud can draw attention to those things we must change.

There are some things we must remember when going through accountability. First and foremost is confidentiality. Trust must be built for true accountability to take place. How can someone share their struggles with someone they cannot trust? And how can you fully trust your partner when you aren’t being trustworty? The second is judgment. Matthew 7:1-2 says, “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Do you have your own struggles, or have you gone through struggles before you became wise? So is, and must, your partner. The other part of that is we are not God. We do not know what exactly is right for this person’s life. Our jobs as accountability partners is to use GOD’S truth, His Word, to hold our partner accountable. Our personal opinions are neither here nor there. Which brings me to this: Galatians 6:1-2 says, “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” We are to watch our own lives, be there for our partner, but do not be swept up in the struggle. Use the Truth, the Word.

For every day, every action, one must ask themselves, “what would Jesus do?” Yes, it’s become cliche, but it’s true. My dad, not a church goer, but a definite disciple of Christ, reminds me of this whenever I am going through an inner struggle. And it’s a saying I need tattooed to my eyelids. What would Jesus do? Jesus would speak the truth plainly when it came to right and wrong, but use the Word and His father to do so. I am not God, I cannot give my personal opinion. But I can help my partner by holding her accountable to whether she is leading her life in a Godly sense by using the Word and God the father, Jesus the son.

Every now and then, I get these negative feelings regarding accountability, that I really don’t want to be a part of it, especially when choices my partner makes do not match what I would do in my life, snd when she is still refusing to be held accountable for some things she should really look at. But than I realize, am I better than my partner? No. Did I go through my own struggles, and am I struggling every single day between the battle of my will and God’s will? Yes. I am ashamed. How dare I look at her struggles and not want to be around them. How dare I judge her. How dare I act like God, thinking I know what is exactly right for her life, or take away from the lessons she must learn. How dare I take all the lessons I’ve learned (and am still learning) and run with them, unwilling to give back. We go through things for a reason, and my life history was why she asked me to be her accountability partner. How dare I deny her my experiences, and how dare I refuse to learn from her, myself, as she has some wisdom I could definitely learn from.

I’m ending this with one of my favorite passages. I’ve always prided myself on not being judgmental. I preach against judgment whenever I get the chance, and promote Christ’s love as my religion. And then something like this comes along, and I realize I am guilty of the judgment I hate so much. Forgive me Lord for my failings in your teachings. I am still your child in faith, mold me to be as you are.

John 7:53-8:11
“They went each to his own house, but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning he came again to the temple; all the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such. What do you say about her?” This they said to test him, that they might have some charge to bring against him. Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” And once more he bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground. But when they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the eldest, and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him. Jesus looked up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again.””

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3 thoughts on “Accountability vs. Judgment

  1. What a post. I really liked the conclusion you came to about judgement. What I have found is the moment I see someone as being judgmental, is the moment that I made a judgement on that person. SO the question remains…how are we to encourage others towards not being judgmental. The answer as you clearly stated is to be an example. Be like Christ and spare people the punishment they deserve for their sins, yet encourage them to leave theri ways of sin behind. We need to know that asking people to not sin, as Jesus did here is not the same as casting judgment. This is completly healthy especially in the context of the church.

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  2. Thanks for sharing. Your observations are very true: many of us do judge one another. Eish. It is a terrible habit. What you are saying here hits home. We practice holding one another accountable amongst my friends. James 5:16 says “Confess our sins to each other and pray for each other that you may be healed.” We are forgiven by the blood Christ shed for us. He is the lamb. But the act of confessing or “getting it out” has helped me grow and helped me mature in my faith.I’ve confessed things like, yea, I wasn’t a very loving daughter the last time my mom came to visit. My friends know that I want my mom to come to know Christ but I am in this lame struggle with her that has gone on since before I really knew Jesus. Just knowing Jesus didn’t instantaneously wipe away all the dumb prideful behavior of mine when it comes to my mom. I wish so much that it did! So I struggle with this.My friends held me “accountable” during her last visit. They reminded me to love my mom, trust God and not try and control the situation and reminded me THEY struggle with the same stuff too with their parents!So that is how “accountability” can work in a more positive sense. Judging people is a NO-NO. The Bible says we are unfit to judge one another. You’ve got the right idea. But you never know what a friend might want to confess to you. So I just wanted to encourage you to remain open. Your guidance could really make an awesome difference in a newer Christian’s life or a struggling Christian’s life!Your blog has made a difference in mine!

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