I have listed below a number of bible passages that speak about this subject. To save you even getting your bible out, you can click on (or hover over) each verse and read the passage. Why not have a little study of these verses….?
Proverbs 25:12 Proverbs 27:17
Ecclesiastes 4:8-12 Galatians 6:1-6
Colossians 3:16 1 Thessalonians 5:14
James 5:15-16 Hebrews 3:13
Accountability involves being honest, asking honest questions of each other. I have recently been reading about John and Charles Wesley, famous evangelists and preachers of the Eighteenth century and the founders of Methodism. When they were at Oxford University they started what was called “The Holy club” with other students, as they were determined to live a Holy life. They were so keen to help each other that they set out 22 questions that they hoped would help them in their quest. I have listed these below:
1. Am I consciously or unconsciously creating the impression that I’m better ……than I really am? In other words, am I a hypocrite?
2. Am I honest in all my acts and words, or do I exaggerate?
3. Do I confidentially pass on what was told to me in confidence?
4. Can I be trusted?
5. Am I a slave to dress, friends, work or habits?
6. Am I self-conscious, self-pitying or self -justifying?
7. Did the Bible live in me today?
8. Do I give it time to speak to me everyday?
9. Am I enjoying prayer?
10. When did I last speak to someone else about my faith?
11. Do I pray about the money I spend?
12. Do I get to bed on time and get up on time?
13. Do I disobey God in anything?
14. Do I insist upon doing something about which my conscience is uneasy?
15. Am I defeated in any part of my life?
16. Am I jealous, impure, critical, irritable, touchy or distrustful?
17. How do I spend my spare time?
18. Am I proud?
19. Do I thank God that I am not as other people, especially as the Pharisees ……who despised the publican?
20. Is there anyone whom I fear, dislike, disown, criticize, hold a resentment toward or disregard? If so, what I am doing about it?
21. Do I grumble or complain constantly?
22. Is Christ real to me?
You may find these questions quite intense and not necessarily relevant to you, but I’m sure you get the idea of how useful questions like these could be. I have had a little look and have found some more modern lists of questions that people use for accountability:
In his book, The Body, Chuck Colson lists the questions used by Chuck Swindoll:
1. Have you been with a woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising?
2. Have any of your financial dealings lacked integrity?
3. Have you exposed yourself to any sexually explicit material?
4. Have you spent adequate time in Bible study and prayer?
5. Have you given priority time to your family?
6. Have you fulfilled the mandates of your calling?
7. Have you just lied to me?
From Cultivating a Life for God, by Neil Cole:
1. How have you experienced God in your life this week?
2. What is He teaching you?
3. How are you responding to His prompting?
4. Do you have a need to confess any sin?
5. How did you do with your reading this week?
6. Did you invest the proper quality/quantity of time in your most important relationships?
7. Did your life reflect verbal integrity?
8. Did you express a forgiving attitude toward others?
9. Did you practice any undisciplined behaviour?
10. Were you honourable in your financial dealings?
11. Were you sexually pure?
12. Did you pray for your pre-Christian friends?
From The Purity Principle, Randy Alcorn, p. 87:
1. How are you doing with God?
2. With your mate?
4. What temptations are you facing, and how are you dealing with them?
5. How has your thought life been this week?
6. Have you been spending regular time in the Word and prayer?
7. Who have you been sharing the gospel with?
8. Have you lied in any of your answers?
9. How can we pray for you and help you?
And finally (because there are loads) John Piper and his pastoral staff fill out a weekly questionnaire. The link is here:
These questions will give you a lot to think about. I hope you can see how important it is to a) regularly ask yourself these questions, and b) allow someone you trust and to whom you are accountable to regularly ask you these questions.
The challenge is; will you do it? Why not pray and ask God to bring someone to mind who you can approach about this? You could then begin to decide between you which questions you would be comfortable asking each other. You may even want to use the above as a basic guide and devise some of your own. You may want to do this with a few friends, for instance, starting a prayer triplet and before beginning to pray, have a short time of confession and repentance. It is great to come before God having a clean conscience. It says in James 5 verse 16 “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”
Please let me know how you get on with this. It’s really encouraging to hear what God is doing in people’s lives. I also have a page on this site called ‘blessings’ where you can write how God has blessed you. This can be totally anonymous.