Are You Accountable?

James 5:16a KJV

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. 

I am so glad James brings this up in his letter because it’s an area where many of us fall short, I believe.  Personal accountability is sorely lacking in our churches, and especially among church leaders.  Why do we see so many Christian leaders fall into sin?  Why are there so many divorces in the church?  Why are our churches slowly getting smaller and less effective in ministry?  I think it is because of a lack of accountability, especially in men of the church.

I am guilty of not being as accountable to someone else as I should be, and I know many of my friends are in the same boat.  It’s easy to have those light conversations about sports, the weather and politics.  I could do that all day.  Then I have a few people who I can talk to about God, the word, and the things I am learning in Christ from day to day.  But to talk about areas where I struggle, where I can “confess my faults” to another man, or group of men, is difficult.  I do share things with my wife when I struggle, but I truly need an accountability partner to come alongside for help and for prayer.  That is when the healing begins.

I have just completed a chapter in a book entitled “Man in the Mirror” on accountability (God’s timing is always perfect).  This chapter discusses how to get started and what to watch for as you develop an accountability relationship with another person.  I found it very helpful, and I suggest if anyone wants to get this started for themselves that you get this book.  It is readily available on Amazon.  Some of the thoughts I am going to express come from this book.

The reason most men shy away from accountability is that we want to make it on our own, solve our own problems and be self-made men.  The problem with this is that it doesn’t work!   We men are usually proud and stubborn, and will not take the deep look at ourselves needed to correct our faults.  Nor will we truly allow God to search us and listen while He tells us the wicked ways that are in us (Psalm 139:23-24).  We will stay on the surface in all our relationships as much as possible, including our marriages.  As long as we do this pride will always be an issue.

One of the biggest lessons I have learned in recent years is that my wife is the best accountability partner I can have.  For years, she had told me I was full of pride, while I thought I was humble.  I took a big fall, as the bible promised I would, because of my pride (Prov 16:18).  I went to a place called Pure Life Ministries, and there God revealed my pride to me as only He can.  When I returned home 8 months later, I told my wife I was sorry and asked her forgiveness.  I then gave her permission to tell me anytime she saw my pride rising up again.  Believe me when I tell you that she does this faithfully and I am so glad!  If you are married, listen to your wife – she knows you better than anyone except God.  And God will use her to teach you His ways.  If you are not married I pray you will find a person that will hold you accountable on a regular basis.

What type of relationship should this be?  Completely honest and open.  The book has a card in it with questions that can be asked as you go through your accountability session.  It is imperative you have a regular schedule of meetings, not just hit and miss.  You must be ready to ask and answer these questions of each other to truly get deep into an accountable relationship.  You can see what this card looks like and the questions he suggests HERE

When we are accountable, our prayers for one another are much more powerful.  There is a bond formed between us that God is pleased with, and He sees we truly mean business.  James says that when we confess our faults to one other and then pray for one another, we will be healed.  He is not talking about just physical healing from sickness, but healing from anything that stands in our way of serving God fully.  Isn’t this what we all want?

I pray each one reading this post will seek out an accountability relationship if you don’t already have one.  Then get to know each other well enough to go deep.  Meet on a scheduled basis, weekly if possible.  This takes time and is risky, but it is worth the effort.  You will grow so much in Christ if you can make this work.

The second half of verse 16 will be discussed tomorrow.

Be blessed!

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9 thoughts on “Are You Accountable?

  1. working4christtwo

    Hi Pete.
    A GREAT Post, and a very important topic

    But once again your understanding and the Catholic understanding don’t blend; don’t correspond to God’s Biblical teachings on sin forgiveness God’s Way.

    We Christian agree that the Bible in its entirety is a God inspired and guided document. Tim 3: 16-17

    Hence everything in the Bible is IN the Bible because Our God desired that it be there.
    James message on confessing is I admit confusing; but “to one another” is to be understood as referencing Sacramental Confession, as Haydock’s Bible commentary affirms;
    Greatly shortened here: … http://haydock1859.tripod.com/id263.html

    [quote]Ver. 16. Confess, therefore, your sins, &c. Divers interpreters expound this of sacramental confession, though, as the authors of the annotations on the Rheims Testament observe, this is not certain. The words one to another, may signify that it is not enough to confess to God, but that we must also confess to men, and not to every man, but to those whom God appointed, and to whom he hath given the power of remitting sins in his name. …….”[/quote] … WHY?

    1 John 5: 16-17 “[16] He that knoweth his brother to sin a sin which is not to death, let him ask, and life shall be given to him, who sinneth not to death. There is a sin unto death: for that I say not that any man ask. [17] All iniquity is sin. And there is a sin unto death.[18] We know that whosoever is born of God, sinneth not: but the generation of God preserveth him, and the wicked one toucheth him not”

    John 20:19-23 “ [19] Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. [21] He said therefore to them again: Peace be to you. As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. [22] When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. [23] Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.”

    Pete my friend, sin forgiveness through His Priest was no novel invention of Christ. Jesus was only [but now in a far more perfect manner], following Old Testament practices:
    Exo. 28:1 “[1] Take unto thee also Aaron thy brother with his sons, from among the children of Israel, that they may minister to me in the priest’s office: Aaron, Nadab, and Abiu, Eleazar, and Ithamar”

    Lev. 5: 16-18 “[16] And he shall make good the damage itself which he hath done, and shall add the fifth part besides, delivering it to the priest, who shall pray for him, offering the ram, and it shall be forgiven him. … [18] He shall offer of the flocks a ram without blemish to the priest, according to the measure and estimation of the sin: and the priest shall pray for him, because he did it ignorantly: and it shall be forgiven him”

    Luke 5: 18-25 “[18] And behold, men brought in a bed a man, who had the palsy: and they sought means to bring him in, and to lay him before him. [19] And when they could not find by what way they might bring him in, because of the multitude, they went up upon the roof, and let him down through the tiles with his bed into the midst before Jesus. [20] Whose faith when he saw, he said: Man, thy sins are forgiven thee.

    [21] And the scribes and Pharisees began to think, saying: Who is this who speaketh blasphemies? Who can forgive sins, but God alone? [22] And when Jesus knew their thoughts, answering, he said to them: What is it you think in your hearts? [23] Which is easier to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee; or to say, Arise and walk? [24] But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) I say to thee, Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house. [25] And immediately rising up before them, he took up the bed on which he lay; and he went away to his own house, glorifying God.”

    Mt. 10: 1-4 “[1] And having called his twelve disciples together, he gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of diseases, and all manner of infirmities. [2] And the names of the twelve APOSTLES are these: The first, Simon who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, [3] James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, and James the son of Alpheus, and Thaddeus, [4] Simon the Cananean, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.”

    Pete my friend, once again we see the differences promulgated by insisting on some right, not articulated in the bible to apply one’s own understanding to Divine and Profound teachings and thus missing God’s desired Lesson.

    2 Peter 1: 18-21
    [18] And this voice we heard brought from heaven, when we were with him in the holy mount. [19] And we have the more firm prophetical word: whereunto you do well to attend, as to a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: [20] Understanding this first that no prophecy of scripture is made by private interpretation. [21] For prophecy came not by the will of man at any time: but the holy men of God spoke, inspired by the Holy Ghost”

    In closing Pete, I recently published my second book…. Catholic & Christian…. A Book of essential Catholic Catechesis by Patrick Miron; which can be GOOGLED. You might consider it if you’d like to learn more on how and why we differ.
    Continued Blessings my FRIEND,

    Patrick

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    1. Pete Post author

      Thank you Patrick for your thorough comment. You are right in saying that I don’t line up with Catholic teaching. I sincerely believe what I wrote is from the heart of God. Accountability between two committed Christians is, as you said, a very important topic.

      I do not believe that a person needs a priest in order to confess sins and be forgiven. We were forgiven on the cross. We must still come and confess our sins when they are committed but the forgiveness is already been given. Sometimes we just need to have somebody remind us. That can be anybody who is committed to Christ. Besides that we are called a royal priesthood by Peter.

      It’s the only way that I can properly confess sins and be forgiven is through a priest and you are telling me that anyone who is not Catholic has not been forgiven their sins. There is no way that I can agree with that.

      Yes my friend we differ greatly on this point. I am not in search of more truth about the Catholic Church. I am in search of more truth from the word of God. I will trust the Holy Spirit to give me that truth. And I will listen two conflicting views with an open heart. If I see that I’m wrong I will offer a correction and I have done this in the past. On the point of accountability brought up in this post I do not believe that I am mistaken.

      I pray blessings on you my friend. May the light always shine on your path

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. working4christtwo

        Thanks Pete,

        May the Holy Spirit guide your journey.

        BY the way I;m Not in the conversion business; that my friend is God’s exclusive domain.

        This is a public domain and I do think it’s important that both sides get “out” their positions and I AM truly grateful that you permit me to.
        Patrick

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Freedomborn ... Aussie Christian Focus

    Yes I agree with you Peat and what is also not taught very often in the Churches today is God’s Full Plan of Salvation as Confirmed in the Scriptures. We work out our Salvation not meaning work for it, we already have it before we are conceived by God’s foreknowledge of our future Heart Repentance showing our Faith in Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and not one of us will be lost, God knows us as His own. But we are to put our Carnal Flesh to death by The Spirit (Romans 8 :12-15- Romans 6 -Colossians 3:4-6 -Galatians 5:24 -26 KJV) as we Aim to be Perfected in Love.(Matthew 5:48 – Hebrews 6:1-Philippians 3:14-16 -2Timothy 3:17-1John 4:16-19- 1John 2:4-6- 2Corinthians 13:11 KJV)

    We are under Grace until we are Perfected in Love and when we are we do not continue to Sin, just as Jesus is Holy so are we in our words and actions we have God’s seed, Jesus dwells within us and we walk as He walked, the Old has gone the New has come.

    1 John 4:17-19 Herein is our Love made Perfect that we may have boldness in the day of Judgment: because as He is so are we in this World. There is no fear in Love but Perfect Love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made Perfect in Love. We Love Him, because He first Loved us.

    1 John 3: 1-11 ( 9 ) No one who is Born of God will continue to Sin because God’s seed remains in him he cannot go on Sinning because he has been Born of God.

    Ephesians 4:23-24 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind And that ye put on the new Man which after God is created in Righteousness and True Holiness.

    Titus 2:13-15 Looking for that blessed Hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ who gave Himself for us that He might redeem us from all iniquity and purify unto Himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. These things speak and exhort and rebuke with all Authority. Let no man despise thee.

    Daniel 12:10 Many shall be purified and made white and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly and none of the wicked shall Understand but the Wise shall Understand.

    Christian Love Peat and God’ Blessings,
    Anne ( Grannie Annie)

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  3. SR

    Hey Pete,

    “Accountability partner.” I do have one in a very dear friend. We almost seek one who will be honest, (not judgmental) but honest in helping us to see the “error of our ways.” We also do not need one who is “too sympathetic.”

    I know at times when I go to confession my Priest will say, “You are way too hard on yourself.” I know he means it for kindness. Somehow I always think, “You do not understand, I am not hard enough, or I would not be in here!”

    I always want a Priest when I go to confession who will tell me, “Yes, you have sinned now this is how you need to stop it!” I had one before they moved him that did that, it was wonderful.

    I thank God for you, with your wife. She has been so instrumental in making you who you are today. One that helps to lead all of us closer to God, through your teachings. Tell I said, “Thank you!” I thank you, for listening to her as well. God Bless,SR

    Liked by 1 person

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