Years ago I learned a very powerful lesson in my spiritual journey: Helping others grow in God was one of the greatest foundation stones to overcoming temptation. I learned so much from that principle.
Accountability became a way of life, and who you are accountable to is very important too. Being accountable to others struggling in the same area is fine! But there should also be accountability to those who do not struggle in the same area. At one time I was accountable to two of my pastors, my roommates, and a Bible study men’s fellowship. I had about ten people to talk to every time I fell!
Developing a Powerful Accountability System
The next chapter in my journey of deliverance was with a system of accountability where we checked in every day. There were four of us in a group text, and we would message each other every night by 9 p.m. I am still doing this today, and there are three of us in the group.
We have three numbers. The first number asked if we had our devotions with God today. (There will not be any lasting success if we do not meet with God every day.) The second number is sexual integrity; did we stumble in this area today? The last number asks if there’s anything we want to be accountable for. My personal last number asks if I ate any junk food today. Another person in our group tells us if he spends more than one hour watching TV.
How does this work?
We text either a “1,” which means success, or a “0,” which means unsuccessful. So, if I text 0-1-1, they could all see that I did not have my devotion time with God today, but I also did not fall into sexual temptation or eat any junk food.
This is really amazing because every night we can look at our thread and see how each of us is doing between the times we meet in person.
Finding Freedom by Revealing Struggles
You might think this is kind of extreme, but when we look at the New Testament, we see several examples of similar accountability. The names of people are given, and the problem they fell into is described in detail. How about Revelation chapters 2 and 3? We see seven churches personally addressed by Jesus, and five of them had some very detailed problems described!
God tells John to write seven copies of letters (one to each church) and send them to the churches. This is amazing. Can you imagine visiting one of the churches knowing that all the other churches knew what each church struggled with? I am not saying that we should announce it to the church every time we fall. But I think we can understand here that God wants us to have several people to talk to every time we struggle. Not every time we have a bad thought or look at someone with the wrong desire in our heart. But I do think we should be accountable (brother to brother and sister to sister) for anything that is a point of bondage or is reoccurring in our lives.
I have been living like this for more than 10 years and God has truly set me free. I can see that if I ever go back to being able to fall and not talk about it, I know it would only be a matter of time before I messed my life up.
Building the Foundation of Connection
Our generation of Christianity is very disconnected. We see each other maybe once or twice a week (if that). I was sharing along these lines one time and a brother said to me, “It wasn’t too difficult to see how someone was living or how he treated his family when they lived in the catacombs.” I thought that was a very insightful statement.
We have formed some very bad habits by allowing these struggles to go on for so long. I am not saying this will set everyone free. But I can assure you that if you want to be set free and live vulnerable before God and man, I am sure that these will be some strong foundation stones to build on.
Thanks to Marco for sharing his powerful Victory Story! We hope this is encouraging for you on your own journey.