FAITHful Fitness Friday: The Characteristics of a Good Accountability Partner

Accountability is a very useful tool in achieving fitness both physically and spiritually, but how do you know go about finding the right person to hold you accountable? There are many articles on accountability that you can find with a simple google search and many are good, but today I want to focus on the most important aspect of the partnership: trust.

You see, many of us, we don’t really want an accountability partner…we want a cheerleader. We want someone to say “Rah Rah…You can do it…You can, you can!” or “That’s alright, that’s ok, you will get it another day!”
Yes, accountability partners should do this for us. It is certainly helpful to be encouraged in this way. However, true accountability partners must “hold us to account” for our actions (or inactions.) In order for this to happen, we need to trust the person who is doing this for us.
When we are seeking someone out to help us in our pursuits, we might ask ourselves:
1. Does this person have my best interest at heart?
2. Does this person have habits that seem balanced and healthy?
3. Does this person have a practice of being encouraging? (Do they have the vocabulary of encouragement?)
4. Will I be defensive if this person asks about  or corrects an action/inaction of mine?
Of course, as with anything we do in life, I think it is prudent to turn to God’s Word for guidance.  Today’s Scripture actually gives instruction to ones who will hold others accountable. As we read, think about what traits are described here:
Galatians 6:1-5 ESV (Bear Each One Another’s Burdens)
Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

So what makes a good accountability partner according to these verses?
A Good Accountability Partner is:
1. Gentle in correcting you and only does so when necessary.
2. Restorative in encouragement of you, using words that build up instead of tear down.
3. Unwavering in their own healthy practices.
4. Helpful to you in your weaknesses.
5. Humble about their own achievements and progress.
6. Consistently reviewing their own goals and habits instead of comparing themselves to you.
7. Celebrates achievements with the proper focus in mind.

Who do you trust to hold you accountable? Pray that God will provide you with someone who is trustworthy and can speak truth in love in order to encourage, support, and help you reach your goals. Ultimately, though, it is up to us to do the work and only One for which we should be doing the work… The One who is TRUST, who is LOVE— The PERFECT Accountability Partner, Jesus Christ… because, after all, He is the One who bore it all on our account.

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