When it comes to the topic of accountability, many Christians approach the issue passively. They might believe that accountability is important but take no practical steps towards being accountable. For many, accountability stops at the theoretical level.
Such a theoretical approach is inadequate. Rather than passively pursue accountability, we need to actively pursue it. We all need to take steps towards pursuing accountability.
Proverbs 19:20 says this,
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future.
This passage concerns accountability. We are to “listen to advice and accept instruction.” That’s what accountability is. How should we apply this passage? Like this: We should listen to advice by asking for advice. To be accountable to others, we need to ask for advice and input from others. Let me illustrate this.
I recently heard a story about a pastor who was also a father of young children. Every night before bed, he would ask his children if there was anything that he needed to apologize for. Wow! That’s what intentional accountability looks like.
It is not enough to simply nod to the importance of accountability. We also need to pursue it. We needs to asks those who know us best—our spouses, our children, our friends, and our close co-workers—questions that concern our character and behavior. For example, ask questions like this, “Have I been loving recently?” “What areas in my need sanctification?” “Am I patient, gentle, kind, and forbearing?” “Or have I been irritable, unkind, and impatient?”
Now, not everything our loved ones say about us is true. Sometimes people provide bad counsel. Wisdom is needed here, of course. Nevertheless, our loved ones can likely see our faults better than we can see them. By interpreting what they say through the Word of God, we can better pursue accountability.