In life (I believe) that each and everyone of us needs to be accountable to someone… or perhaps to more than one person. I don’t believe that there is a single human being that, left to their own senses and devices, will always make proper decisions and see things completely clearly.
That is where an “accountability partner” can serve us. In order for someone to hold an other accountable there needs to be a close, personal relationship. One needs to be able to “read” the other, too have an ability to almost see into the future. You know what I mean. You look at your friend’s life and based on the time you’ve spent together you can see where their actions (or inaction’s) are leading. Is that where they need to be heading?! Is that journey going to ultimately harm them and/or their family? An accountability partner should be able to discern where and when that poor decision is being made and be able to honestly and forthrightly address it to you.
It has been my experience that it is rare for an individual to be willing to receive such accountability. Rarer yet is the individual who is willing to listen to an accountability partner, accept the evaluation and then take the necessary steps to implement the change(s). That, my dear readers, is the mark of a person of integrity and maturity.
Let’s face it folks. None of us are (or ever will be) perfect. Why wouldn’t we be willing to make the necessary changes? Why wouldn’t we be willing to look at our past poor decisions and learn from them? Why wouldn’t we be willing to say, “Wow, I sure screwed that up. I need someone to help me see those obstacles in the future!”
I think the simple answer is… PRIDE! Not many people are willing to admit to themselves that they need help. Even fewer people are willing to admit to another person that they need help. Here’s a NEWS FLASH. WE ALL NEED HELP!!
Okay now stop that right now! Stop thinking about that person you are thinking of. Sure, maybe they do need help but so do you (and me too of course)!
If you don’t have an accountability partner consider talking to a friend about the matter. However, being an accountability partner does not necessarily give you authority to hound the person. You need to be able to talk about the (serious) things you see and too be able to offer suggestions on another approach. Share your life with someone you respect and grow!
So here are a few questions.
1. Are YOU willing to receive criticism?
2. Will YOU act on the information when you get it?
3. Are YOU willing to risk a friendship to tell your friend they are heading for a train wreck?
4. Are YOU willing to do what is necessary to become a better all round person?
5. Do YOU want to be the same person you are NEXT December?
I ran across these quotes in a computer program I have and feel they are pertinent.
* A person may cause evil to others not only by his actions but by his inaction, and in either case he is justly accountable to them for the injury.
John Stuart Mill (1806–1873)
* Life is like a cash register in that every account, every thought, every deed, like every sale, is registered and recorded.
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895–1979)
* My Spirit searches the deep things of the heart. I not only taste the fruit, I test the soundness of the tree. I do not look at the leaves, but examine the roots. I behold not the shape of the tree, but test the heart.
Frances J. Roberts
* The sins ye do by two and two, ye must pay for, one by one.
Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936)
* What difference does it make to you what someone else becomes, or says, or does? You do not need to answer for others, only for yourself.
Thomas à Kempis (c. 1380–1471)