Coming Clean

Coming Clean Ebook Cover

It’s easy for accountability relationships to fail. Learn how to get it right. Take your Accountability partnership to the next level. Read Coming Clean and introduce it to your Accountability Partner.

14 thoughts on “Christian Accountability: 5 Reasons It Often Doesn’t Work

  1. This is really something to think on… God’s grace. My spiritual upbringing was focused almost exclusively on ‘knowing better to do better’… a spiritual self-improvement program. At least, that’s how I tended to translate all that I was learning. Although I guess I knew of God’s undeserved loving kindness, I always felt that peak performance was the key.

    It is hard to grasp, the grace of God, but I want to come to appreciate it more. Thanks for clarifying where I really stand with God. And thanks for helping me to see what moral purity is really founded upon… experiencing more fully the riches of God’s love, God’s mercy, God’s undeserved kindness…… God’s grace.

  2. This really helped a lot. The purpose is our growth, and that we would not fall so often. So I’m thinking of something like “encouragement partners” or something like that.

    Many of us on this journey are familiar with Eccl. 4:9-12. I hadn’t really thought of it as written above, but yeah, we don’t need another program, we need the bond of friendship!

  3. I really like how this was presented. I forgot that its not winning for ther sake if not sinning, but its so that we grow and continue to grow on Jesus. Man. Good stuff!

  4. I’d like to ask you to consider translating CE into Bahasa Indonesia. There are 27 million Christians in Indonesia and porn is a massive problem in the church. I am a speaker of Bahasa Indonesia and have a team of very capable young men and women ready to assist.
    I hope we can discuss this further and look forward to hearing from you.
    Rob Greaney
    Director Health Songs International

  5. Luke if I could make one suggestion, that you add a #6: Accountability is insufficient. I think many Christians feel that when they mess up they just need to ramp up the accountability efforts. More meetings, more follow up, more tearful confessions, more specific questions, more BS meters to know when you’re lying, etc. This is dangerous thinking, and I believe it unecessarily lengthens the years that people struggle with their sexual sin. Recovery comes through significant, often revolutionary life change, therapy, behavior modification, clear boundaries and warning fences, self awareness (dealing aggressively and courageously with root issues), and spiritual awakening. Accountability is a critical component of successful recovery, but by itself will fail because it is insufficient.

    • Hi Jason. I firmly believe that when accountability is Christ-centered and responsive, it can be extremely helpful. But I agree that accountability measures are insufficient by themselves. If we look to relational accountability to replace personal accountability, we will find out very quickly just how insufficient it is.

  6. Hi Luke,
    Can you expand further on what you mean by 1) relational accountability and 2) personal accountability? Thanks

    • Yes. Great question.

      Personal accountability is essentially holding yourself accountable for your character, habits, goals, and thoughts. Personal accountability says, “I am accountable for my own thoughts and actions. I am responsible for what I do. I own my actions. No one else.”
      Relational accountability is others holding you accountable to those same things. Relational accountability says, “Others know my goals and are holding me to task on those goals.”

      Does that answer your question?

  7. Thank you for the thoughtful consideration of accountability groups in the Church. I’ve long been concerned about the adoption of the practice as it is unbiblical both in its form and method. Meeting programmatically to consider the condition of other peoples hearts seldom leads to a good end. I will be happy to see reform in this area.

    • While “program” isn’t necessarily a four-letter word, it should be understood that groups should grow to become more organic in nature. I know many groups that start on a more formal level and then move towards something more like genuine Christian friendship, but this takes intentionality and time.

  8. I found this article after being frustrated as an Accountability Partner for a couple of close friends. I want to be the best that I can be for them as I want them to succeed but they call on me for help truly after its too late! I personally have a struggle with eating and have found an accountability partner to be of no help as when my struggle engages there is no time for calling someone. It’s a Momentary decision which could only be stopped by turning my focus to Jesus and seeking His help which so often I consciously choose not to do.
    Your article has been very helpful but I still feel frustrated as to the answer as to how to help others find Victory over their sin. Hmmmmm

    • Great question. There are a number of things to consider. First, gaining victory over sin, in the long-term, is about changing both behavior and our internal motivations. Behavior changes can come by simply making deliberate choices to distance ourselves from temptation and put up the necessary roadblocks. But real heart change takes time and involves God displacing the things that used to drive us with new, higher desires.

      I recommend you download this free e-book I wrote for accountability partners about how that works. It explains a lot of the details.

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