Accountability Is DeadFeb 23, 2020
Today we're talking about Accountability.
I really hate that word. It puts a bad taste in my mouth. It's what Jay Stringer calls "Lust Management."
This is the approach I grew up with as a kid. It was shallow, it was behavior focused, and it didn't work for so many of us. Too many Christian men have given up on quitting porn because accountability didn't work for them.
Well, I'm really glad that in the last few years the conversation has been changing.
We've begun describing our supporters, the people who are helping us on the journey to quit porn as allies.
Allies are supporters who listen to your story, love you in the middle of it, encourage you with the gospel, pray for you when you need it, answer the phone call at 2:00 AM when you're sexually triggered, and ask you to hang out–not just to talk about sexual behavior or sexuality, but just because they know you and love you.
The true meaning of accountability partners and allies is friendship.
So I have to give a shout out right now to my first ally, Andrew Thompson. During my freshman year, you were my group leader. We prayed together so many times and it was a huge part of me taking my first steps to freedom from porn.
But building a great relationship with your allies can be hard.
So today I'm showing you exactly what tends to go wrong and how you can fix it to make an awesome alliance that supports you on your journey to freedom.
The number one problem I see is that Allies tend to be Reactive rather than Proactive.
Reactive means passive. You're waiting for something to happen like getting a Covenant Eyes Accountability Report and then talking about it.
Proactive means you have a vision, you have a mission, and you're going out and accomplishing it together no matter what.
So what does it look like to be proactive rather than reactive?
The first thing is to become present.
When guys become allies, usually the only times they really talk to each other are about the topics of lust and pornography.
And this becomes really narrow and one dimensional. It's kind of awkward because you only know this one part of a person's life.
Allies who do this are not present. They're not showing up in any of the other areas.
So if you want to develop a really strong alliance, hang out with each other. Just spend time together, get to know each other's stories, get to know each other's hearts. Become present to each other in ways that have nothing to do with sexuality. And you will find that your relationship goes a lot deeper.
The second thing you want to do is plan ahead.
And yes, this means planning and scheduling a time every week or every two weeks when you can get together. It's important to talk about sexuality and your recovery journey and also just to have fun together.
So be proactive in planning and scheduling those times. Also plan things like:
- What books are you reading?
- What training are you going through?
- What are you working on together?
Be proactive about planning that, so that you can also be proactive about planning your action steps. Every time you meet there should be an action step you're following up on from the previous meeting.
This ensures that you're not just drifting along with your accountability partner, but you're driving forward towards the dreams towards the life that God has for you.
And that is what an ally is designed to do.
The third way you can be proactive in each other's lives is with prayer.
Call each other to pray–not just when you've sexually acted out.
Calling when you're in the middle of a struggle, when you're feeling tempted or you're feeling triggered, and the last thing you want to do is pick up the phone.
Calling somebody for prayer is so important. This is what I mean by proactive prayer: reaching out in the moment so that you can avoid acting out.
Your alliance will become way stronger when you're talking about the struggles and the difficulties in the middle of them rather than after the fact.
So if you become proactive in these three ways of being present (in other parts of each other's lives, not just in sexuality) planning ahead (not just drifting along), and in reaching out for prayer (before you sexually act out, not just after the fact), you will find that your allies become some of the closest friends in your life.
So I want to give a shout out to all my allies, because you guys have been the difference maker for me. You've been transformational in helping me heal from porn and become the man God has created me to be.
If you're curious about what kind of ally you are, what kind of ally you need, and where you can find awesome allies, take the FREE ALLY ASSESSMENT QUIZ!