We are midway through January; how are those New Year’s Resolutions going? I know for me, there hasn’t been enough time to fail at them – in fact, I’m still trying to figure out how to do them. But eventually, like every other year, some goals will instill habits, and some will fall by the wayside.
However, if we want to make progress, there is one underutilized tool that will make a big difference. As Christians, we know we need to couple hard work with reliance on the Lord — but we can forget God wants us to utilize each other. People are key instruments God uses to help us to grow. Note the following passages:
- “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.” – 1 Thessalonians 5:1
- “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” – Proverbs 27:17
- “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up!” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
- “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” – Hebrews 10:24-25
- “Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2
- “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” – Hebrews 3:13
Clearly, God designed us to need people. We need encouragement and accountability if we are going to move forward in the Christian life. Because a day will come when your strong work ethic will wane, when your new spiritual disciplines will feel inconvenient, when your attempts at holiness won’t appear worth it. And that is when your godly friend can step in and say “C’mon, you can do this!”
Who in your life is helping you move forward? Does anyone know about your newest goals to become a more godly woman? Will anyone ask you hard questions to keep you accountable?
We all should have at least one person in our lives that will have the “sharpening” effect Proverbs 27:17 speaks of. We should regularly connect with someone who is willing to “exhort” us (Hebrew 3:13), encourage us (1 Thessalonians 5:1), and stir us up towards “love and good works” (Hebrews 10:24-25).
Of course, we should also be this kind of influence in someone’s life–but in considering your newest goals towards godliness, be sure to recognize the importance of accountability. Make sure you have someone that won’t let you fail (at least not without a fight) at your attempts to better please the Lord this year!
Part 2 coming soon: 10 Quick Tips on Accountability Relationships