When it comes to overcoming bad habits, choosing a good accountability partner can be difficult.
As the video shows, Mr. Accountability is not the sort of partner we need.
Sadly, many of us have had terrible accountability experiences, having partners who are either too moralistic or too passive.
Moralistic vs. Morally Mature
Moralistic accountability partners have one primary goal in mind: your performance to a standard. They approach you as a cop, not a fellow traveler.
Morally mature partners want to see you grow in obedience, but they know your heart has to come first.
Morally mature people know where real change comes from. Real change is not when we perform in order to be accepted by God, but when we obey because we already know we are accepted and loved by God, through Christ.
Passive vs. Gracious
Passive accountability partners shy away from confronting or challenging you in order to appear gracious.
Truly gracious partners know God’s grace doesn’t just overcome the guilt of sin; it overcomes the grip of sin.
Gracious people know God’s grace is not cheap—Christ died for it. We don’t just confess sins to get cheap peace for a troubled conscience.
- We confess sins so we can get to the heart of them, to dialogue with each other and hopefully learn why we sin the way we do.
- We confess sins so we can fully admit to ourselves evil of our thoughts and actions, in order that God’s grace can be appreciated for all its greatness.
- We confess sins so we can hear others affirm to us God’s forgiveness.
- We confess sins so we can help each other make plans for future growth.
Choosing a Good Partner
When you aren’t sure who to choose an accountability partner: (1) Make a list of all your friends who appear to be serious about their relationship with Christ, then (2) narrow that list to those friends who you genuinely enjoy talking to. Start there.
When you engage this person about being an accountability partner, understand that many people don’t know how to “do accountability” well. Be intentional about growing together as friends who can be morally mature and gracious.