Tim Challies on Accountability Partners

Let me offer a warning about accountability relationships. Although I am convinced that in many cases they can be very helpful, they also present a subtle danger. It is possible that we can come to fear an accountability partner more than we fear the Lord. Fear of God can take a back seat to fear of man as our desire to honor God is overshadowed by our desire to have only good things to report at our next accountability meeting. I’m not even talking about the temptation to lie at the meeting. I’m talking about what goes in your heart as you fight against sexual temptation. One day you’re fighting for God’s glory, and the next you’re fighting to avoid shame before man. We should want to grow in sanctification, not to impress others or reduce personal discomfort, but to honor God increasingly in all things. Writing of the value of mutual support within a local church community, Paul Tripp says, “The purpose of the relationship is not to catch the other person doing wrong, but to motivate and encourage him or her to do what is right. We minister to one another knowing that while the law is able to reveal sin, only grace can deliver us from it!” Find a person who is motivated, not to catch you in your sin, but to encourage you, pray for you, and rebuke you if necessary. In other words, find yourself a true mentor.

Challies, Tim (2010-09-01). Sexual Detox: A Guide for Guys Who Are Sick of Porn (pp. 80-81). Cruciform Press. Kindle Edition.

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