The world often tells us “if we want something done, we have to do it ourselves.” Today’s society frequently applauds those who have accomplished much, especially when completely by themselves.
But we are made to participate in community. As sisters (and brothers) in Christ, part of our command is to encourage one another in our journeys with Christ, holding each other accountable for progressing to be more and more like Him.
In Christ, we are each separate parts with unique gifts of one unified body. Romans 12:4-5 describes this membership: “For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.” We belong to each other, because we all belong to Christ. Our purpose of serving Him unifies us in our faith, aims, and actions. With so many different talents, we can help each other grow and strengthen our witness of Him.
In our faith, we can hold each other accountable for experiencing growth, listening to discipline, and building trust and reliance. Accountability boosts growth in faith. We can discipline, rebuke, and guide each other.
Discipline – To discipline literally means “to train.” By motivating each other to study God’s ways and His Word, we can better train each other in this righteous race. Disciplining each other in our faith through teaching, sharing, fellowship, studying together, and encouraging increases growth.
Rebuke – Rebuking another does involve correction – meaning that we made a mistake in some capacity. But, as we are all imperfect until Christ’s return, we will make mistakes! As members of the family of believers, we need this correction, especially from like-minded people. Rebuking another doesn’t mean harsh yelling or angry reprimands (though it can be stern or tough when necessary), but rather speaking the truth in love.
Guide – I often turn to my husband for guidance, or perhaps my parents or others who have gone through a similar situation. People currently in similar situations can guide each other when done with the wisdom and knowledge God provides.
Colossians 3:16 instructs us in our accountability with each other: “Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.” Here we see two more tips on how to hold each other accountable – teach (guide) and admonish (advise or caution) with wisdom. We can teach and advise through “psalm, hymns, and songs from the Spirit” – meaning God’s truths!
As the body of Christ, we can encourage each other to stay on the right path, fostering unity through truth in love. Ephesians 4:15-16 illustrates this love in fellowship: “…speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.” Loving accountability enhances us, allowing us to witness God’s name spread much farther than if we tried alone.
Suggested further reading: 1 Corinthians 12:12-31
Above image from http://office.microsoft.com
How have you grown from accountability partners or fellowship in your faith? Have you been able to help others stay accountable for growing in faith?
Author bio: Caroline is a wife, mother of a beautiful and charming toddler son, avid reader, and writer. She is honored to write with Today’s Housewife. You can also find Caroline at her personal blog (Under God’s Mighty Hand) and on Twitter.