Can accountability help me resist temptation?
There was a time when I gave in to temptations often. I couldn’t find a way to resist them. This pattern continued for a few years, until my dad suggested that each son in our family become an accountability partner for a brother during the week. On Sundays we would meet together with Dad to report on how things were going. It was so helpful for me to realize that if I gave in to temptation, I would have to go through the shame of reporting it to my brother and then to the rest of the men in our family on Sunday.
My brothers also gave me advice on how to overcome temptation the next time I faced it. Some of their helpful counsel included quoting Scripture, praying for others, realizing how disgusting sin is in God’s sight, and understanding how much it hurts God if I give in to temptation. It is amazing how the lure of secret sin loses its power in the light of openness with God and others.
“For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:20–21).
“. . . God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. . . . If we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:5, 7–9).
—David Staddon, age 13
Related Command of Christ
This testimony illustrates the command of Christ to Fear God, Not Man. (See Matthew 10:28.) The accountability of David’s Dad and brothers helped him learn to fear God and walk in the light of truth, without harboring the deception of secret sins.