The Christian life was never meant to be lived alone. In Open: What Happens When You Get Real, Get Honest, and Get Accountable, Craig Gross calls readers to embrace the power of accountability. Gross breaks the book down very practically seeking to explore the questions why, what, and how of accountability relationships.
Why? An accountability relationship is described by Gross as an advocate who fights alongside you to become the person who God is making you. He challenges readers’ assumptions that accountability is like the moral police or airing your secrets to others who will sit in judgment over you. Accountability is seen as sharing who you really are and your real life struggles with a small group of people who will stand beside you and encourage you to follow hard after Jesus.
What? Gross defines accountability relationships as only truly functioning when both people are honest. This honesty is a challenge that demands both people to be courageous in opening themselves up to another person to be real. Even though this is difficult, Gross reminds us that we need other people to come along and encourage us and challenge us to face our struggles with a desire to fight sin and embrace the truth of the gospel.
How? Accountability relationships require someone being bold enough to start the conversation. Once the conversation is going, the relationship needs to be defined. Each group should have regular meeting times, discuss the hard questions that need to be asked, and have an action plan to seek God together. Open concludes with several helpful resources to get someone started in developing an accountability relationship.
Open is a helpful and practical book on an important topic that many times Christians like to avoid. This is a helpful read for anyone seeking to being to grow together alongside an advocate through an accountability relationship.