There’s nothing more effective than a team that moves and acts as one unit. Teams where each player knows his or her role and embraces it; where coaches unify their players to play for the bigger picture. These teams know their purpose and give their best for one another.
The same can be said for the importance of finding teammates in our daily faith walk. We need to come alongside each other to stand firm on the foundation of God, build one another up, and be unified in Christ.
As Scripture and prayer are pivotal pieces to a life in Christ, accountability is also key. It keeps us connected to people, strengthens our resolve in trying times, and brings encouragement when we are down.
We need others who can call us to God’s higher standard and walk with us along the way.
What is accountability?
Accountability is a willingness to accept responsibility or account for actions. It’s making a commitment to follow up on what you say or intend to do. If you want to eat healthier, cut the carbs and quit eating after 7 PM. If you want to gain muscle, get in the weight room and start squats and dips. It’s the same with strengthening your faith. If you want to memorize Scripture, crack open the Bible and read and reread a passage until it’s grafted in your mind. Inviting a friend to memorize a verse with you can keep you both going when it’s easy to give up.
Walking with God is a constant journey, and it’s good to keep company that reflects where you want to go. Find your people who will keep you accountable; it's imperative to your spiritual well-being.
Accountability keeps us grounded
The world is quick to offer us alternative ways of living that look good for a moment but snare us in the long run. Having someone who can point out temptations or call us out on our behavior while pointing us to God’s Word moves our mindset back to truth and helps us stay there. If we know we have another person backing us up or who is going to ask how we responded to a certain situation, it gives us pause to take a step back and think about how we want to respond.
Do you waver with one foot in the world and one in God’s Kingdom? Having an accountability partner who regularly checks in and gives encouragement may be the nudge you need to move both feet into God’s truth.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” -Proverbs 27:17
Think about the people in your life whom you admire. What qualities or attributes are you drawn to? Chances are those qualities didn’t just appear one day but are the product of years in God’s Word, prayer, church, and guidance from others. Being wise about who you want to surround yourself with will reap spiritual benefits that manifest throughout your days.
The fragrance of Christ will always produce a pleasant aroma that draws people in and creates a yearning to know where the appeal comes from. Those who represent Jesus to us shine as magnets that draw us in with a desire to let our own light shine out of our lives.
“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.” -Hebrews 10:25
Accountability calls us to a higher standard
There’s an African proverb that compliments accountability: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” It’s easy to stay focused only on what is good for you. But you’d be missing out on the blessing of doing life with others and making a deeper impact for God’s Kingdom.
Our own efforts only last so long and have so much “power.” When we’re fueled by the power of Christ and the fellowship of other believers, however, our faith has ample opportunity to grow and reach farther than it ever could if we were going alone.
“How wonderful and pleasant it is when brothers live together in harmony!” –Psalm 133:1
Accountability is intentional. No one is going to force their way into your life; it’s a choice to take carefully thought-out steps towards a person who exemplifies the life of Christ. Find someone who can help you grow closer to God. Is there a coach you respect? A leader at church who you seem drawn to? What about that older teammate who walks with unshakable faith?
Reaching for truth implies an action—a movement towards someone we sense will guide us closer to God. Our end goal is a closer relationship to the One who made us.
Sarah Freymuth is the Communications Manager for FCA and writes content for blogs, articles, Bible reading plans and devotionals that share God's heart with coaches and athletes. She played softball for Concordia University Wisconsin, is in their Hall of Fame, and has led FCA Huddles since high school.