“Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.”
– Galatians 6:1-5 [ESV]
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.”
– James 5:16 [ESV]
Accountability is an essential aspect of the Christian faith and is particularly important for men. It involves being vulnerable, where we are willing to put ourselves in a place of being accountable to one another for our actions, words, and attitudes. More importantly, it also helps us to grow in our relationship with God and become the men we were created by Him to be. Here are several reasons why disciples of Jesus should hold each other accountable:
To Grow in Holiness
As Christians, our ultimate goal is to be continuously sanctified by the Holy Spirit and become more like Jesus Christ. Holding each other accountable helps us to grow in holiness and become more like Him in our thoughts, actions, and words. When we allow ourselves to humbly be put in check by other Christian men, it forces us to take a deeper and honest look at our lives and assess whether we are living in a manner that is pleasing to God. This self-reflection, with prayer and guidance through Scripture and the guidance of the Holy Spirit, can help us to identify areas where we need to change and make progress in our spiritual growth.
To Encourage Each Other
Christian men need encouragement and support to persevere in their faith, especially when facing difficult challenges. Holding each other accountable provides an opportunity for men to offer one another encouragement and support as they navigate through the treacherous seasons of life. When we hold each other accountable, we can remind each other of the promises of God and His Word and offer encouragement to help one another persevere.
To Strengthen Relationships
Practicing accountability helps to strengthen relationships between Christian men. When men are transparent, show true honesty, and even confess sins to one another, it fosters trust and intimacy, leading to deeper and more meaningful relationships. Yeah, this can at times be brutal to do as we men like to give the veneer of alpha-male toughness and coolness. Opening up in a real way goes against the grain of our personalities! But I would heartily urge you to try to be more vulnerable with each other. This accountability and support can be especially important in times of crisis when men need the encouragement and brotherly love of their Christian brothers.
To Foster Responsibility
Holding each other accountable helps Christian men to take responsibility for their actions and to live lives that are pleasing to God. When men are held accountable by their Christian brothers, they are more likely to make positive changes in their lives and to live in a manner that honors God and follows His biblical commands. This accountability helps men to grow in their walk with Jesus and to become responsible and mature Christian leaders.
If you haven’t done it already, grab a couple of your buddies and encourage them to commit to being in a small accountability group with you. Call it an “accountability group,” call it a “fire team” (see my article on Fireteams for more information), or whatever…just do it! Accountability is a powerful tactic in spiritual growth, and it is particularly important for Christian men as we fight on the front lines of life. Holding each other accountable helps us to grow in holiness, encourage each other, strengthen relationships, and foster responsibility. By embracing this attitude and practicing it in our everyday lives, Christian men can blossom in their faith and become godly and mature examples of Christlikeness, who in turn can help out and mentor newer believers in Christ.