Accountability is Key

This blog is a part of series of blogs I’m writing on 11 Life-Changing Lessons on Leadership, Relationships and Personal Life.

Lesson Five: Accountability is Key

Do you have a safe place to share your hurts, worries, pain, joys, hope and goals? Is there someone, or a small group of people where you can be totally honest about your life and they can keep you accountable for your life actions? If the answer is yes, you are most fortunate. Most people move away from transparency and vulnerability in relationships. On the other hand, I think having someone hold you accountable is healing and profitable for a successful life. The Bible says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” (James 5:16) Notice that through honesty and confession, it says we “may be healed.” That’s been my personal experience.  

Over the years I’ve had individuals in my life who I have allowed to hold me accountable. It’s never been easy and even now, I have a desire to make myself look better than I am. However, I do find a fresh healing through accountability. I was devastated several years ago when the news came out that one of the key leaders in the Christian faith had been unfaithful to his wife. He had been living a double life of teaching on morality and yet, having an affair. This is a man who had deeply influenced me and helped me create boundaries and guardrails in my own life to make healthy decisions. I just couldn’t understand. This guy wasn’t one of the fringe crazies but a strong and brilliant leader who had crashed.

One day I was talking to one of his long-time associates and asked, “What do you think were the issues that caused his fall?” Without a moment’s hesitation he replied, “He had no accountability.” There was literally no one in his life with whom he was honest about what was going on in his world. As this man entered a time of temptation, he chose to talk with no one. I wonder what it would have been like if he had safe people around him who not only held him accountable but encouraged him to stay true to his beliefs. I’m grateful for a small group of men who know me and are willing to hold me accountable. I’ve been in this same group of men for the past 15 years and before that there have been other small groups. Personally, I’m a better husband and father because of these men. How about you? If you don’t have an accountability system in place, make time to step out in faith and grab a person or a group and begin the process. You will be better off in so many ways.

Here are some excellent questions to incorporate into an accountability relationship:

  • Is it working? Is life working?
  • Am I focused on the right things?
  • What do I need to do to sustain my life, family, health, and ministry over the long haul? How am I doing? What’s holding me back?
  • Is my character submitted to Christ?
  • Am I living a life of integrity?
  • Is my pace of life sustainable?
  • Is my heart for God shrinking or growing?
  • What areas of my life do I need the courage to change? What’s holding me back?
  • Do I have enough replenishing relationships? Do I invest regularly in those relationships?
  • Do I like the person I am becoming?
  • Is the work of God I’m doing destroying the work of God in me?
  • Am I giving my family only my emotional scraps?

Next Week: Lesson Six: Have Serious Fun

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Jim Burns

Jim Burns is the president of HomeWord. He speaks to thousands of people around the world each year. He has close to 2 million resources in print in 20 languages. He primarily writes and speaks on the values of HomeWord, which are: Strong Marriages, Confident Parents, Empowered Kids, and Healthy Leaders. Some of his most popular books are: Confident Parenting, The Purity Code, Creating an Intimate Marriage, Closer, and Doing Life with Your Adult Children. Jim and his wife, Cathy, live in Southern California and have three grown daughters, Christy, Rebecca, and Heidi; three sons-in-law, Steve and Matt, and Andy; and three grandchildren, James, Charlotte and Huxley.

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