This short book by Jacob Abshire is a very helpful one. I really needed teaching on this subject and have benefited a lot by reading the book. It is my prayer that God will give me the wisdom, grace and self-discipline to follow through and live out the lessons I learnt. I am blessed with a Christ-loving Wife, Church Family and faithful brothers-in-Christ with whom I share my struggles, but not anywhere near the level of seriousness which this book encourages. For this major reason, it was crucial for me to understand how important accountability is and why I need to work hard at it.
At the beginning of the book, I like how Jacob distinguished Christian accountability from a general understanding of accountability, emphasizing the truth that we are called to a holy standard, exemplified by Christ, as Christians. He also distinguished Christian Discipleship from Christian Accountability. And this is important because both should have their place in our lives as believers but fulfill special needs we have as Christians. To assume that one does the work of the other, may lead to a deficit in our growth or our fight with sin.
The book includes a section on why accountability is needed, great points of accountability for men and women, essentials for effective accountability meetings, what to consider in the search for an accountability partner, ways to be an awesome accountability partner and building an accountability relationship. It concludes with an amazing final chapter which sarcastically presents you with ‘ways to kill a good thing.’
I love the full colour orange pages between each chapter on which bible verses are written. Those verses express profound dimensions of accountability and its importance to us as Christians. Many other bible references are found in all the chapters for readers to study more.
The phrase we are Cain reborn used in chapter 2, struck me! Cain is one bible character most would be quick to disassociate themselves from but when a comparison is drawn between him and us, then we get to see we are not miles off. Jacob Abshire is a Holy-Spirit-empowered-genius for finding this subtle link between us and Cain. We need to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper; it is our responsibility.
The point about accountability encouraging Godly stewardship on page 16, is super relatable:
There is a sense of responsibility that comes when we know that we are accountable to someone else. What we do we must tell. How we think and act must come to light through confession. Such a reality will cause us to better steward our time, talent, and treasure in order to be free from embarrassment. – Pg. 16
The points about finding someone who is serious about salvation, sin and sanctification on page 33 are heavy for me. I need to act on them. I have become comfortable with the people I am accountable to, partly because they have similar struggles to mine and over time, we have become less serious about the gravity of sin and therefore more gentle than we should be in rebuking each other. My accountability partners are far as well. This book advises that you should get someone you can meet with every week. I agree because non-verbal cues can give you away, when you lack the courage to come clean through your words.
As mentioned earlier, the final chapter of the book employs the tool of sarcasm to tell you what not to do: Lie about you sins, keep rescheduling your meetings, waste accountability meetings on trivial talk, be unavailable, never wage war on your sin and neglect your spiritual disciplines.
In connection with those important points, the book ends with a charge on page 51 which says:
Accountability depends on sincere confession, regular meetings, intentional conversations, sacrificial availability, godly fighting, and spiritual discipline. To lack in one of these will hinder your accountability. To fail in some of these will cripple your accountability. To stop in most of these will assure the destruction of your accountability and might lead to spiritual drifting. Be on your guard.
Please download this wonderful book which is graciously available for free and read it to fortify your mind and resolve.