Read: Romans 14:5-12
Having someone to keep you accountable is a great thing. It helps us get over bad habits, and it’s nice to have someone you can rely on when you are feeling weak. I remember when one of my best friends was that person for me. Taylor* and I were so close that, we were able to tell each other anything and everything. We didn’t hold back, ever. Whether it was about a secret sin of ours, our insecurities, or making sure we did our devotion for that day.
However, an issue did arise because, in our hearts, we started secretly judging each other. And, we started comparing the severity of our sins. She would talk about getting so deep into Scripture certain days where I forgot to. In turn, I would judge her time with the Lord, questioning what she is really getting out of it if she can’t even manage to control her sexual desires with her boyfriend.
She did the same when I would talk about taking care of my body through exercise and eating right. Knowing she needed to treat her body as a temple and not eat to excess, but still did, she would judge me, thinking I didn’t manage my time wisely, even telling me that I didn’t spend enough time reading the Bible. It was a horrible back and forth of putting down the other person.
Instead of having a friendship where we could be honest with one another, our accountability became a competition judging how “good” we were by how the other person was doing.
We shouldn’t forget Who we are ultimately accountable under. Romans 14:7 says, “For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”
Romans 14:10-11 puts holding one another accountable into perspective, “Why do you pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you despise your brother? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God; for it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.’ So then each of us will give an account of himself to God.” Our issue is that we lost sight of Who we were living for. The reason we kept failing was that instead of doing things for the Lord and living a life worthy of Him, we lived to be better than the other.
My friendship with Taylor sadly ended because we let accountability slip into judging, but it could have been so easily avoided if we both were truly living what we were reading in the Bible. If we both took a step back and realized that in the end, every one of us will be brought to account for our sins before God and not before each other.
Do you have someone who keeps you accountable? If so, how are you keeping each other in check? Consider whether it based off of your standards or God’s?
*Name has been changed