1 Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. 2 Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3 For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. 5 For each will have to bear his own load. 6 One who is taught the word must share all good things with the one who teaches. 7 Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows that will he also reap. 8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. 9 And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 10 So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.
An accountability partner is able to perceive what we can't see when blind spots and weaknesses block our vision. Such a person serves as a tool in God's hand to promote spiritual growth, and he or she watches out for our best interest. When choosing this type of confidant, look for these characteristics:
1. Godly. A person who walks in the Spirit will offer genuine wisdom based on biblical principles rather than personal opinion.
2. Trustworthy. No matter what you share with this individual, you must be certain that he or she will keep everything in the strictest confidence.
3. Accepting. He or she must allow you to be yourself--frailties and all--and not try to remake you into someone "perfect."
4. Courageous. A good accountability partner will lovingly confront you with the truth, even when it hurts (Eph. 4:15).
5. Forgiving. When you make mistakes, trust is built through mutual forgiveness.
6. Edifying. Don't choose someone with an overly critical attitude that will make you feel worthless. Love edifies and builds up (Eph. 4:29). It never destroys.
7. Encouraging. You don't want someone with a checklist, who judges or acts like a prophet. Instead, choose someone who takes great joy in encouraging you.
We all can benefit from someone who is able to say what we need to hear without making us feel threatened. Answerability provides checks and balances that promote spiritual growth and protect us from pitfalls. If you don't already have an accountability partner, pray for that person today.