“Yeah, I don’t need Internet Accountability. That’s for people who have a problem.”
If I had a dollar every time I heard a version of this excuse given by guys not to use an online accountability tool like Covenant Eyes, I could buy myself a sweet new Macbook Pro.
Frankly, it’s an attitude that disturbs me, because it is the very idea that you are above lust, above sinning with your eyes, that leads people into dangerous addiction. Isn’t this what Paul said to the Corinthians about sexual sin?
Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. – 1 Corinthians 10:12
I’m guessing King David thought he was pretty strong and could resist an illicit affair, right up until he saw Bathsheba bathing naked. David should have been out to war like most kings, but instead had no safeguards for his heart. And he fell.
His own weakness was why Joseph ran scared from Potiphar’s wife when she tried to seduce him. He ran because he knew that if he stayed and lingered and looked one second longer he might succumb to the desires of his flesh.
And for me and you, safeguards like Covenant Eyes are tools that help us guard our hearts, help us stay in the safe place of grace. We know that merely using online accountability alone won’t keep us pure just as taking a purity pledge won’t guard your virginity. The most important work is in cultivating a heart that loves God, that ruthlessly roots out lesser idols, that understands that God’s plan for sexuality is so much more lovely than the cheap substitutes we are offered daily.
But a God-centered heart and online tools work together. Why? Because a God-centered heart realizes, as Jeremiah did, that our fleshly, sinful hearts cannot be trusted. This was why the Apostle Paul, many years into his ministry, admitted that his heart still yearned to do what was wrong (Romans 6-8). Only the grace of the gospel of Christ could sustain him.
This is why he said, famously, “When I’m weak, I’m strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). When we recognize our own weakness, our hearts desperate craving for sin, then we are strong. We are strong because we acknowledge our need for grace and for the boundaries, the accountability that keeps weak people anchored to Jesus.
But when we think we are strong. When we say, with pride, “Oh, I don’t need accountability online. That’s for those weak kind of people,” we are setting ourselves up for a dangerous descent into sin. We are ignoring the reality of our own weakness and relying on our own strength. We’re going into battle unarmed, because we have foolishly overvalued our ability to fight an enemy bigger than ourselves.
So, yes, you need accountability online. Because after all it’s not “those people” who have a problem.