My conversation with a church leader recently went something like this:
Me: “I just signed up for Covenant Eyes on my new smartphone.”
Him: “Why’d you do that?”
Me: “I need the accountability.”
Him: “How so?”
Me: “My phone’s got a big screen and fast Internet access. That’s an invitation for temptation. Knowing someone else can see what sites I’ve browsed really helps keep me in check.”
Him: “Hmmm, I see. Well, I don’t really need other people to hold me accountable, because I know God is watching me and that’s all the accountability I need.”
Wow, I sincerely wish I were that spiritual. But the truth is I’m not…
Yes, I know God is omnipresent and His watchful eye is always on me. And I have no doubt I’ll stand before the judgment seat of Christ one day and give an account for “the things done while in the body, whether good or bad” (2 Corinthians 5:10 NIV). So, one would think such ominous knowledge of a fearful God would be more than enough to deter me from sin—and it does help a great deal. After all, my desire above all is to love and serve my God. I never want to disappoint Him.
Yet, no matter how strong my fear and love for God may be, I learned a long time ago that I also need people who will hold me accountable. I need friends and mentors to ask me the hard questions from time to time. I dread the thought of possibly having to admit to someone whom I admire and who trusts me that I did something sinful and stupid.
And that’s where the Covenant Eyes app comes in so handily on my Android phone. Every week a report of the web pages I’ve visited is automatically emailed to my pastor (who is also my boss) and to a long-time accountability partner of mine. Talk about making me think twice where I browse! These guys make me hold the line!
Just the other day I got a Twitter message from a girl named “Artie.” Artie’s avatar was a picture of her legs crossed in a mini-skirt. I was tempted to click the enticing link she sent me, but then I remembered the covenant I’ve made with my eyes “not to look lustfully at a girl” (Job 31:1). And I also remembered that Covenant Eyes was on my phone, so I deleted Artie’s message really fast!
The Bible says three people are better than one, for a “cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12b NIV). Thus, I need the accountability of others.
There’s a lot of free porn on the Internet, so I need the accountability.
Satan’s a liar. I need the accountability.
My heart’s deceitfully wicked. I need the accountability.
My flesh is weak. I need the accountability.
I’m a guy. So I (really) need the accountability. (Girls need it too, by the way.)
I have a wife and children who are counting on me. I need the accountability.
Bottom line, no one’s immune. We all need accountability.
Covenant Eyes is an important part of the accountability process for me. It just might be one of the best investments I will ever make.