Yesterday, we looked at some benefits of an accountability relationship. There are several barriers that need to be faced in building an accountability relationship in your life.
Barrier 1: Pride
Pride can be a huge barrier to accountability. It can make itself known in accountability relationships in two primary ways. The first way that pride can become clear is in our attitude towards accountability in general. Pride says that you are doing well with your personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Your pride generated this good standard by finding some people who are worse off in their relationships with Jesus than you are to make the comparison shift in your favor. This pride makes you shun the thought of needing anyone or being willing to even enter into an accountability relationship. The first type of pride stops an accountability relationship from even beginning.
The second type of pride does not stop accountability from happening but enters into an accountability relationship and poisons it from the inside. This poisonous pride brings an attitude of self righteousness and outward spirituality that is really a mask for what is really going on inside. In an accountability relationship, this will cause a lack of openness because openness means that the mask of perceived holiness must be removed. This lack of openness on one side of the relationship will cause the prideful person to further validate their self righteousness as they learn the struggles of their accountability partner. Pride causes a person to judge rather than love and to judge rather than confront. Pride is a killer of initiating accountability and a poison that kills accountability relationships. It is a barrier that must be addressed, repented of, and dealt with.
Barrier 2: Busyness
Accountability relationships take time to begin and maintain. It is easy for us as Christians to so fill our schedules with Christianized activities such as Bible studies every night of the week that we do not take time to focus on our personal relationship with Jesus Christ through prayer and time in God’s Word. If these two things that we see as devotions that we can feel obligated to do so often fall through the cracks, how easy will it be for this new concept of accountability relationships, that we do not see as something that “good Christians” do, to fall through the cracks?
Accountability requires intentionality. You must build conversations focused on accountability into your schedule and flow of life, or you will never live in an accountability relationship with a fellow brother or sister in Christ.
Barrier 3: Shame
Coming face to face with your sin and being real with someone else about it can cause great shame. When you look at your own life and who God is calling you to be, you realize that these two things do not match up a whole lot of the time. You find yourself still struggling with the same old sins that cause you to stumble week after week which brings you shame.
The grace of Jesus Christ is what covers our sin and shame. In accountability relationships, we can remind each other that our shame has been put upon Jesus Christ on the cross. We no longer have to live in shame. We can live a victorious life in Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells us as Christians. Accountability relationships allow us to encourage each other that the shame is gone, and we are free to continue to seek after God!