Most of us are not naturally drawn to accountability. When Adam first sinned this resistance to accountability surfaced quickly:
"There came to Adam and Eve the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the evening wind: and the man and his wife went to a secret place among the trees of the garden, away from the eyes of the Lord God. And the voice of the Lord God came to the man, saying, 'Where are you?' And he said, 'Hearing your voice in the garden I was full of fear, because I was without clothing: and I kept myself from your eyes.' God said, 'Who gave you the knowledge that you were without clothing? Have you taken of the fruit of the tree which I said you were not to take?' The man said, 'The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me the fruit of the tree and I took it.' And the Lord God said to the woman, 'What have you done?' And the woman said, 'I was tricked by the deceit of the snake and I took it." (Genesis 3: 8-13)
Our desire to avoid responsibility for our actions is rooted in Adam's original sin (Genesis 3:12). Yet we desperately need accountability. Without accountability - whether from God, friends or mentors - we increase our susceptibility to stray from following Christ.
Even leaders with great respect in the community have proven their need for personal accountability. One such leader who too late recognized his need of an accountability partner, later wrote a book containing the following questions to aid an accountability relationship between followers of Christ:
From Ordering Your Private Life by Gordon McDonald
- "How is your relationship with God right now?"
- "What have you read in the Bible in the past week?"
- "What has God said to you in this reading?"
- "Where do you find yourself resisting Him these days?"
- "What specific things are you praying for in regard to others?"
- "What specific things are you praying for in regard to yourself?"
- "What are the specific tasks facing you right now that you consider incomplete?"
- "Which of your habits intimidate you?"
- "What have you read in the secular press this week?"
- "What general reading are you doing?"
- "What have you done to play?"
- "How are doing with your spouse? Kids?"
- "If I were to ask your spouse about your state of mind, state of spirit, and state of energy level, what would the response be?"
- "Are you sensing any spiritual attacks from the enemy right now?"
- "If Satan were to try to invalidate you as a person or as a servant of the Lord, how might he do it?"
- "What is the state of your sexual perspective? Tempted? Dealing with fantasies? Entertainment?"
- "Where are you financially right now? (Things under control? Under some anxiety? In great debt?)"
- "Are there any unresolved conflicts in your circle of relationships right now?"
- "When was the last time you spent time with a good friend of your own gender?"
- "What kind of time have you spent with anyone who is a non-Christian this past month?"
- "What challenges do you think you're going to face in the coming week? Month?"
- "What would you say are your fears at this present time?"
- "Are you sleeping well?"
- "What three things are you most thankful for?"
- "Do you like yourself at this point in your pilgrimage?"
- "What are your greatest confusions about your relationship with God?"