Coming Clean

Parenting the Internet Generation 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.

18 thoughts on “5 Reasons Why Christian Accountability Fails

  1. Luke,
    I just wanted to say how much I like this article. I’ll be getting a copy of this ebook, and sharing it liberally.

  2. Thank you Luke for compiling this. God has blessed you with great thought articulation. I am a lay youth pastor, sending this article and putting into practice with my high school boys has been great. I’m sure fruit will be formed real soon.
    Thanks for sending this.


  3. I appreciate the article and the work you’re doing with Covenant Eyes. This article will most certainly help people in accountability relationships. I read it looking for a mention of our relationship with Jesus but found none.

    Hebrews 2:18 summary: “Because Jesus suffered in temptation, he’s able to help those who are suffering in times of temptation.” This verse and it’s context tell us where we must look first for help. It has huge implications for those struggling with porn.

    Today’s trendy theology of “The Gospel” (which I understand and can appreciate) tends to turn our attention away from Jesus. A focus on “The Gospel” tends depersonalize “The Gospel” and the “relationship” we have with Jesus. People don’t “fall in love” with “The Gospel.”

    Follow me? I’m not trying to romanticize the relationship we have with Jesus, but I’m trying to say that people aren’t called to love “The Gospel,” they are called to love God (first great command in Matthew 22:37-38).

    “…Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love…” (1 Peter 1:6-7). Amazing verse. I think too many younger Christians have fallen in love with the idea of “The Gospel.” It seems like many think it is to be our main focus. But it’s not.

    While the article will certainly be a help, it needs a good dose of Hebrews 2:18 and its surrounding context.

    As a counselor, I am often pointing people to these words of Jesus: “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15). (And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve pointed people to Hebrews, chapters 2-4.)

    Luke, I appreciate the work you’re doing. Keep it up. You’re making a difference.

    • Admittedly, this is an excerpt from a larger resource. In the fuller document, we ask accountability partners to focus not on the gospel as an abstract concept but asking people to rest completely in what Christ has done for them—not obsessing about their own failures nor putting stock in their own performance. I agree that we absolutely make clear what we mean by the gospel—not just a message, but a living person.

  4. I would say that this adequately describes where I have been frustrated with accountability. We have accountability partners with Celebrate Recovery, but you have to seek them out yourself, and the effort level of most other addicts is, well, let’s just say that they are in the predicament that they are in for a lack of self discipline in the first place. My sponsor is pretty good at supporting and praying for me, and I offer up my sins easily, but he doesn’t dig much or ask difficult questions. I think he’s learning a bit as he goes. I wish there was a group that met at my church, and I’m continuing to ask around if there is a group of guys that meet for this purpose. Maybe I can introduce them to this larger resource that this article is cited from. Thanks!

  5. I agree that there are many pitfalls with having an accountability partner. Having been in a church for many years that required discipling partners, I found that the Greatest pitfall was pride…..Usually, it was the “leader” who rather than loving they were very legalistic. Frankly, although there is some evidence to support “accountability partners” in the bible (Proverbs 27:17) there is also evidence refuting such a practice (1 Corinthians 1 and 1 Corinthians 3). I have the conviction that having people in my life to help, encourage, teach and even, at times, to direct is important, but I also have the conviction to have a formal “discipling” or “accountability partner” type relationship is biblically inaccurate.

    • I think you left out James 5:16

      “Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man has great power in its effects.”

      Can you please highlight the specific passages to which you refer? Both of the chapters of Corinthians you mentioned talk about unity within the church, avoiding strife over leadership, and not being proud of your good deeds. for The message of these chapters is simply God working in us that produces the good, and so he is the one worthy of praise, not ourselves or any leader in particular. I think you are very far from the mark, and if you are preaching a message contrary to this, you are likely leading people astray. I would consider diving deeper into the word, before posting anything on the internet that will harm others.

  6. What do I do when the accountability partner makes me feel like crap and preaches a sermon without letting me get a word in edgewise? I want to “fire” him but not lose that friendship.

    • It’s your choice. It doesn’t sound like you have an accountability partner right now. So, maybe keep the friendship, stop sending him the reports, and find someone else for that specific role.

    • Hi, is there a 12-step program that you can join as a starting point? What about an online support group like NoFap? I wish you the best.

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