By: Undre Griggs, Jr.
Accountability goes a long way in helping you to improve some aspect of your life. However, for it to work, you need to be honest with yourself and others. When someone is compelled to ask the body of Christ for forgiveness, they are not only repenting, but they are asking for help to stay on the path of righteousness.
Galatians 6:1-5 (ESV): 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.
When you help someone deal with a temptation, you must always be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Even though your goal is to help them change something about their life, if you are not careful, you may be the one changing. Even if their temptation is not a temptation to you, you need to remain humble in their time of need. An arrogant heart can make us susceptible to other transgressions. We are expected to bear each other’s burden (have a sympathetic heart), and if we allow ourselves to believe we are better than someone else’s situation, we risk appearing unsympathetic and insensitive.
James 5:16 (ESV): Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
It is all too common for Christians to look at their own situation and believe they are wiser or better than someone else. Paul says anyone who believes that is deceiving themselves as we have all fallen short of the glory of the Lord. By pretending to be something we are not, we are only cheating ourselves out of being healed. By openly sharing our shortcomings with others, we receive an accountability partner and prayers of restoration. That is why Paul advices us to test our works. The better we know our own heart, the less likely we will look down on others when they transgress. Which will ultimately aid us in being more compassionate and sympathetic when helping others.