What does spiritual accountability look like to you?
I’ve been thinking a lot about accountability in general lately. We have been teaching, more than usual, the importance of accountability to our children lately as well. We don’t live in a time where many people believe it necessary to be held accountable.
It’s really quite sad.
We are raised to believe that we are entitled to whatever we want, whenever we want it. We don’t consider the cost. We don’t consider the consequences of self or those around us.
Accountability is necessary in every area of life, I believe, but I really want to dig in to accountability in our spiritual lives. Why? Because America and the body of Christ has lost it’s vision of what it means to really call ourselves “Christian”.
How can we be accountable to others in our DAILY spiritual walk? I’ll list a few:
- Prayer. Make it a point to pray with you family. If you don’t have a spouse or children to pray with, find a close friend or mentor that you can share that time with. (Phil. 4:6, Matt. 6:6, 1 Thess. 5:17, Eph. 6:18, Rom. 8:26, Luke 18:1, 1 Tim. 2:8, Rom. 12:12, Col. 4:2)
- Scripture Study. Take the time to read God’s Word and then share what you read with someone. Highlight words or verses that stand out to you. Circle words that you don’t quite understand and research them. Know your Bible. There are so many great resources readily available to us all. (Ecc. 1:13, 2 Tim. 2:15, Ps. 119:15, 1 Cor. 11:1)
- Attend Church. It is biblical to fellowship with those who are like-minded believers. We are supposed to surround ourselves with those who believe. They hold us accountable in our faith, but they also help to shoulder the load of life. An added bonus of church attendance – being taught by your ordained pastor. God put him/her there for a reason. (Ex. 40:26, Josh. 18:1, Heb. 10:25, Gal. 2:2, Rom. 16:5)
- Self-Denial. As a Christian, it is our desire to walk in the will of God and not in our own will. That means that even though something may be a good thing, it doesn’t mean it is a God thing. We have to be able to discern between the two and sometimes you may need help to do so. No shame in asking others to pray about it and give you advice on the matter. (Matt. 16:24, Luke 9:23, Lev. 16:29, Matt. 10:38, James 4:7)
- Serving. There is nothing quite like serving others in greater need than you to bring you back to the reality of the world around you. Serving others takes your eyes off self and puts them on others. There are endless ways of being able to serve others. Serving food in a soup kitchen to homeless, teaching the pre-school class on Sundays, mentoring youth, giving talents on the worship team, interceding for others on the prayer team. Endless avenues to take. (1 Pet. 4:10, Matt. 6:24, Tit. 2:1-8, 1 Kin. 17:12, Ruth 3:10, Jer. 22:3)
I like to assess my spiritual exercise plan as much as possible. It’s so easy to be pulled away from what’s right to what’s good. I ask myself how I am doing in different areas of my life.
Screen time: How much time am I spending on unnecessary things when I could be more productive of helpful?
Needless spending: Am I really thinking about my every purchase? It matters. We are to be good stewards of our money. Some things I just don’t need.
Gossip and complaining: How have my casual conversations with others been?
Addictive habits: Have I allowed new addictions or unhealthy habits to form or come back? Am I being diligent to free myself of addiction?
Anger: Have I had any outbursts in anger that I should have kept under control? Am I doing everything I can to resolve a felling or situation before it turns into anger and outburst?
Spiritual laziness: Am I intentional with my prayer and Scripture time? How have I fed into the lives of others lately?
Unforgiveness: Is there someone who I need to forgive? Maybe daily. Do I need to forgive myself. Maybe daily.
Listen, life if hectic and hard, but God can take the burden. You have to let Him. Making sure that your spiritual walk and daily accountability are set in place helps you to live a better, simpler, happier life. I am never more happy than when I stop and make time to be in the presence of God. It’s unmatchable.
“Work like it depends on you, but pray like it depends on God.” This is true for your spiritual walk and accountability as well.