Ever try to change? You know … your routine, so you get more done on your top ten list; your diet, so your health improves; your spending habits, so you owe less and save more; your approach to managing priorities at work, so you achieve greater success. How’s that going? If you’re answer is “great!” you can probably stop reading this. But if you’re like most people, you probably have one or two areas in which you simply struggle to make a change.
It’s not that you’re not motivated. In fact, you may even ask yourself, “What IS my problem?”
First, you may want to stop asking that question. I’m sure you’ve got plenty of answers to it, but they’re not helping you. A more helpful question to ask yourself, “What can I do differently?”
Here’s a suggestion. Find someone whom you trust, whose values are aligned with yours, who has your best interests at heart and who will tell you the hard truth – with love. If it’s someone who might benefit from your support as well, all the better. Then, ask that person to be your accountability partner – someone who will hold you to the commitments you make to achieve your goals, while you do the same for them.
The story of Daniel includes excellent examples of accountability. Right in chapter one, you see how Daniel and his three friends are accountable to each other to maintain integrity to their faith by not taking part in the king’s rich foods. Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego stuck by one another when the king threatened to throw them into the fiery furnace. Daniel held Nebuchadnezzar accountable to what God expected of him by speaking the hard truth and encouraging him to change his ways in chapter four.
What can having an accountability partner do for your integrity?
- Strengthen your resolve. It’s not difficult to set goals. What can be difficult is taking the action necessary to realize those goals. Sharing your goals with an accountability partner makes them much more real and provides someone to encourage you to overcome obstacles.
- Provide greater clarity. When you share what you’re committed to with another person who cares about your success, they are likely to ask questions you may not think to ask yourself. Expanding upon what you’re up to and how you will do it will help you crystallize the path you need to take to achieve your goal.
- Overcome obstacles. It’s easy to quit when you feel like you’re only letting yourself down. But when someone else is there to challenge you and give you feedback when you get stopped, you’ll find it easier to push past the fear or discomfort and keep moving forward.
- Achieve more than you could have done alone. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.”
Prayer combined with an accountability partner may just help you achieve even greater integrity than you might have imagined! Give it a shot and let us know what happens.