Today's Devotional Thought
January 26, 2011 by Rachel Piferi
Like many of you have done, I set a few goals at the beginning of January of things that I wanted to accomplish in 2011. A couple of the goals were pretty big and required deliberate changes in how I conducted my day. Some of the goals were health goals, some were spiritual, and some were personal growth areas. And I am happy to report that I have been successful in maintaining these goals so far. But, I also humbly report that I probably would not have been as successful if it weren’t for my accountability partner. You see, my accountability partner keeps me motivated to continue, especially on those days that I really don’t want to.
Do you have someone in your life who you would consider an accountability partner? Someone who you respect and trust and who helps you grow in your life and in your Christian walk?
I believe having an accountability partner is very important in life and especially important in our daily Christian walk. An accountability partner provides support, encouragement, comfort, and most importantly motivation to act in the way that we are called to act. This person holds us accountable for our actions and spurs us to be everything we should be in our lives. Finding someone who can fulfill this role in your life is very important and this relationship is one that should be prayerfully entered.
I know that I am very blessed to have a friend who holds me accountable in various areas of my life. I haven’t always had such a friend. In fact, this type of friend is what I consider a true friend because they want God’s best for you and that often requires that they push you to act in a way that you may not naturally act. They stretch you. They push you. And they gently remind you when you are not behaving as Christ calls us to behave.
If you do not have an accountability friend, someone who sharpens you and motivates you to live as Jesus instructed, then I urge you to pray that the Lord reveal to you someone who could fulfill this role. And, as you are looking for this person, consider the following characteristics that I believe are important to find in such a person:
~ Your accountability friend should be another woman who is equally strong as, or even a little stronger than, you in your faith. If you are going to rely on someone to help you live your life as Jesus lived, then you must have someone in your life who knows what that standard is. She should know the teachings of Jesus and the themes of the Bible that guide us and direct us.
~ Your accountability friend should be someone who you trust. You should be able to trust this person with your flaws and weaknesses. You should be able to open up to them freely with no fear that they will share this information with others.
~ Your accountability friend should be someone who will not judge you when you stumble. Friends, I have startling news for you today: you will stumble. You will make mistakes and you will fall short of your goals sometimes and the standards that Jesus dictated that we live to. But, you should not let your stumbling keep you from continuing to strive to live as Jesus did. Your accountability friend needs to extend grace to you when you do stumble and realize that your heart is striving after the Lord even if your sinful body stumbles every now and then.
~ Your accountability friend should be someone who you respect. You must have a desire to not let them down and respect their wisdom and guidance when they offer it. Selecting someone who you respect and love will help you as you strive to live according to the Bible.
~ Your accountability friend should be full of love. A true accountability friend models Jesus’ love. And friends, when you find someone who loves like Christ loves, you’ll know it instantly. You will see it in her demeanor and in her reactions to other people. Christ’s love is readily apparent in people who embody it.
I received a plaque from my accountability friend about a year ago that said, “We all need someone who gives us the courage to be who we were meant to be.” And, in many ways, I see an accountability friend this way. She gives me the courage and motivation to be who I was meant to be in Christ and in life because she believes in me. She is there to gently remind me when I waiver and gently steers me back to the right path. And the best accountability friend embodies Christ herself which is why you seek her advice and guidance on your own behaviors.
I pray that you have an accountability friend today. And, if you do not, then I urge you to pray that the Lord reveal to you someone who can be that friend. Look for someone with the characteristics above and even more importantly, strive to be someone with those characteristics for others. I believe as you become this type of friend, then the Lord will also send this type of person to you. And when you meet her, find small ways to encourage each other and sharpen each other in your Christian walks.