I think there’s something inside each of us that says we can stand on our own – that we don’t need others. From the youngest to the oldest, many of us have the mentality to do things by ourselves. We are self-sufficient and independent.
I once heard an athlete say, “We would have a great team except for all my teammates.” Yes, we talk team, but we value self. Not only does this happen in sports, but it also happens in our spiritual lives. Doesn’t loving God come down to just me? Yes and no.
Christian Living Takes a Village
Yes, you do need to love God with all YOUR heart. No, you cannot do it alone. Don’t fall into that trap of isolation. Living the Christian life is a “we” thing, not a “me” thing. There is a great African proverb that states,
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
Isolation is the Christian’s silent enemy. But don’t get solitude and silence (two powerful spiritual disciplines) mixed up with isolation.
Isolation is pulling away and saying, “I can live out my faith on my own, and I don’t need anyone to help me.” There is pride in isolation. We begin to think we can live out our faith through our own power. Once we distance ourselves from those who know us best, small (and large) changes begin taking place in the absence of accountability. Isolation makes people believe that sin can be committed free of consequences.
King David held that mindset until the prophet Nathan showed up (2 Samuel 12). And isolation also makes us think that we are the only people wrestling with a particular sin, problem, difficulty, or addiction. We begin to believe that no one else will understand us, so why should we open up and seek help? We think that if we keep a lid on our problems, we’ll contain it.
Accountability is our Friend
Accountability is non-negotiable in the Christian life. It stops the sin of isolation. So many people I know have gone down in flames because they did not have someone in their life to hold them accountable. Even though the word “accountability” is not in the Bible, Christ and His disciples modeled it well, and there are numerous verses that reveal the value of it. Even the disciples were sent out by pairs.
The blessing of accountability has allowed me to live for Christ with greater purity and passion. Truthfully speaking, I don’t know if I could survive if not for the people who hold me accountable. I need to have a brother in Christ getting in my face and making sure I’m doing what I’ve committed to do (i.e. spending time with the Lord daily, keeping my eyes pure, spending quality and quantity time with my family, making wise financial decisions, and training my body). It is called 360-degree accountability with every aspect of my life evaluated.
If you do not have someone like that in your life, watch out. You are wide open to the sin of isolation! Don’t think you can live for Christ without being connected. Live the Christian life as it is intended to be lived – as a TEAM sport. Think about it.
So, What’s The Play Call?
- Why do so many people think that the Christian life is an individual thing? From where does this thinking come?
- Do you have an accountability partner? How have others helped you in your spiritual journey?
- What other examples in the Bible come to mind when thinking about lack of accountability?
- Why is isolation so easy and accountability so hard?
- Why is there power in confessing sin to another person?