The concept of accountability for Christian men means many things to many people. For some men, it is primarily about marital fidelity and pornography. For others, accountability spells the awkwardness of confession and the threat of judgment or legalism. And for some, it is nothing more than a three-step plan to guard against moral failure. However, the term “moral failure” is a more complex subject and because of the sinful nature of all of us, manifests, to some degree, in all aspects of human behavior.
Intuitively, we know we are being accountable when we live good, pure lives. By this we show God that we are serving Him and are loyal to Him. We are accountable when we live in obedience to His Word. 1 Peter 1:14-16 tells us, “As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, since it is written, ‘You shall be holy, for I am holy.’”
Most men who profess faith in Jesus Christ don’t go searching for ways to dishonor Him. And rarely do they demonstrate dramatic behavior changes that prompt them to suddenly become prideful, lustful, dishonest, or violent. Instead, patterns of sin creep in over time. For each of us, disobedience to God’s Word opens the door. Spiritual emptiness – the absence of daily relationship with our Father – leaves us vulnerable and ill-equipped to resist most of what the world would throw at us.
For men, accountability is a biblical mandate. Romans 14:12 states, “So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Why? Because He loves us so much that He sent His beloved son to die in our place, even while we were still sinners (Romans 5:8). Jesus paid a debt He did not owe upon the Cross and deserves our love and obedience. It goes further than that. We must be accountable to ourselves and our families. Philippians 2:12 clearly says, “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” Our families desperately need us to lead, teach, provide and protect as Christlike examples in our homes and for the world to observe. Leadership in or outside one’s home can be daunting for some men. It’s easier to turn inward and tough-out the tough times alone. Without a continuous and spirit-filled connection to our Creator, loneliness can set in together with the potential for isolation from family and friends. Sadly, families pay an enormous price for mens’ lack of leadership and Christlike attention to them.
So, what do we do? For most men, the process of forming accountability relationships is an effective place to begin. Why? Because left to our own devices, we will ultimately fail. Yes, we need daily Scripture and prayer, but we also need healthy accountability relationships with people who care enough about us to speak truth into us; who see our blind spots; and who have perspectives we can learn from. We need other men as “countermeasures” to help us block those patterns of sin, and the rationalizations we subconsciously create, to justify sin in our lives.
I would encourage you to directly approach one or two men and tell them you are seeking accountability through a relationship that has consistency, structure and transparency. If you don’t know where to start, consider signing up for the Men’s Bonfire and Cookout that will take place on Friday, October 9 at the Prior Lake Campus Firepit from 6:30 – 8:00pm.