Over the past decade or so, I’ve asked several women to hold me accountable in regards to my physical well-being. I wanted to lose weight, and I figured that reporting to them on a monthly basis would help me stick to my resolve. Unfortunately, for one reason or another, those accountability partnerships didn’t last. Neither did my good intentions. But things have changed.
Several months ago, I became an accountability partner with a young Canadian woman working in China. We recently added an American gal working in Moscow. They, too, are serious about losing weight, eating healthy, and building strength through exercise.
We report to each other every Wednesday. That report includes our weight and our eating/exercise habits for the past week. We’re honest to share our failures (Moose Tracks ice cream as a bedtime snack for instance), and we cheer each other’s successes.
In essence we’re practicing James 5:16-“Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed…” In our context, we’re confessing our lack of self-discipline in two areas: gluttony and indulging our cravings with food that’s not proper fuel for our bodies, and our tendency toward making excuses for not having time for exercise (aka laziness). We’re honest about our struggles and shortcomings, we’re praying for each other’s success, and we’re seeing God honor our efforts. Yeah! It’s working!
Accountability partnerships keep us on track, but honesty is one of the requisites. That requires humility. Do I like telling others my weight and about the times I fail in my resolve? No. But doing so is the only way I see myself reaching my goal.
My issue revolves around physical health and well-being. Maybe you struggle with the same. Or perhaps you wrestle with effective time usage, impure thoughts, guarding your tongue, envy, or maintaining a regular quiet time with God. The issues with which we struggle are as varied as we are. But there’s hope:
- Ask God to give you an accountability partner who shares your desire to succeed.
- Commit to being honest with each other.
- Set a regular time to report to each other and stick to it.
- Cheer each other on. Celebrate your successes!
- Pray for each other.
Do you already have an accountability partner? If so, how’s that working for you? I’d love to hear about your experience.