Today's Devotional Thought
January 14, 2011 by Rachel Piferi
Accountability in Friendship
The kids are off school today and Monday so last night was like a Friday night at our house. And last night my son had Wendy’s son over for a sleep over. They are great friends and I actually was reminded of something very important about friendship as I listened to them throughout the evening.
Our sons are 8 and 10 years old and their conversations just make me laugh. I love listening to them when they think no one can hear them. They talk about everything from school to sports to movies to what they think is right and wrong in the world. Most of their sentences start with “Hey dude” and they are so fun to listen to.
Last night was no different and as I was listening to them, I noticed something very important about friendship. Throughout the evening as they were talking, both of our sons were quick to tell the other when they had said something wrong or done something wrong. Their statements usually went something like this, “Dude, you shouldn’t do that” or “Dude, that’s not cool. Don’t do that.” And Wendy’s son would tell mine that and my son would tell Wendy’s son that. I was intrigued that they were so comfortable with each other that they told each other with ease when they weren’t behaving or talking appropriately. But what I was really struck by was the fact that when one of them was “called out” by the other, their response was always, “Oh yeah, you’re right.” There was no justification of their behavior or trying to rationalize why they were right in whatever it was they were saying or doing. There was just a simple, “Oh yeah, you got me and you’re right, I’ll stop.”
As I reflected on their conversations throughout the night, it became such a wonderful display of accountability. You had two friends, perfectly comfortable with each other, keeping each other straight and neither one getting embarrassed, angry, or ashamed when their friend directed their path a little. It really was beautiful accountability and a model for us all.
Isn’t it amazing how we lose that comfort with others holding us accountable as we grow older? We seem to get defensive when others point out how we may not be behaving well. Sometimes we get angry and try to justify our behaviors rather than just admitting that we were wrong and saying, “Yeah, you’re right.”
In relationships, it is so important to have loving accountability. It is important that we hold others accountable in a loving, non-judgmental way and that we receive accountability without defensiveness. True friendship is wanting the best for your friend and wanting them to live in a way that honors God. And true friendship must include accountability when we start to stray from God’s path for us.
If there are certain areas of your life that you need accountability than ask one of your friends to lovingly and prayerfully provide it to you. And offer to be someone else’s accountability partner as well. And when you give and receive guidance from this friend, then respond to it like I heard last night, “Oh yeah, you’re right,” correct your behaviors, and then move on in the life that God has for you.