Summary: Having trouble keeping that New Year’s resolution? Get an accountability partner!
AN ACCOUNTABILITY PARTNER
Text: Ecclesiastes 4:9 – 12
• How many of you have made New Year’s resolutions?
o Read Bible, diet, quit smoking, spend more time with family, be a better Christian
• How many of you have already broken your New Year’s resolutions?
• Hard to commit yourself to something that will take a long time to accomplish.
• You need an accountability partner – a friend who is willing to help you improve in some area of your life.
• Can help you overcome a recurring temptation, stop a bad habit, develop in your relationship with God
• What should you look for in a good accountability partner?
I. What you shouldn’t look for
• Video: "The Accountability Ninja" from Sermon Spice
II. What you should look for
• A good partner will:
A. be honest with you
o Proverbs 27:6 “Faithful are the wounds of a friend”
B. pray for you
C. stay in contact
o Phone, email, “appointments”
D. support and encourage you
o Cards, hugs, “celebrations”
E. keep your secrets
o Three preachers on fishing trip. The Methodist says, "Hey guys, since we’re not catching anything, why don’t we pass the time by sharing our secret sins?" The Pentecostal says, "I think that would be great!", but the Baptist says, "I don’t know...I think that’s a bad idea." After a half an hour of coaxing from the Methodist and Pentecostal, the Baptist finally agrees on the condition that he can go last. The Methodist begins, "I know you guys won’t believe this, but every Friday night I go to the bar in the next town and get plastered!" The other two gasp and sit quietly. After about 5 minutes the Pentecostal says, "Ok. My turn. For the last 6 months, I have been having an affair with another woman." The other two gasp and sit quietly. An hour passes, and the Methodist and Pentecostal get impatient. "Brother, we told our secret sins; it’s only fair that you share yours too." The Baptist minister hangs his head, exhales deeply and says, "OK. You’ve got me. Here it is -- I am the worst gossiper in the town, and I can’t wait to get back home!"
o Moral of the story: Don’t ask the town gossip to be your accountability partner!
III. Does it work?
• Alcoholics Anonymous believes in it
o Sponsors have the sole responsibility of helping to keep their friend sober
• Weight Watchers believes in it
o People who participate in Weight Watchers with a friend are more likely to stick with it and lose weight (fitness buddy)
• Jesus believed in it
o Sends 12 in pairs (Mark 6)
o Sends out 70 in pairs (Luke 10)
o For protection, support, encouragement
• The early church believed in it
o Acts 3 – Peter and John minister together
o Acts 13 – Paul and Barnabas
o Acts 15 – Barnabas and Mark; Paul and Silas
• Get someone to tear one piece of paper; then try to tear a ream of paper
• Solomon is saying that there is strength in numbers
• Two are stronger than one; and three are stronger than two
• The third one is God – make Him the center of your friendship
• Want to be a better Christian? Read your Bible more? Quit that bad habit? Start a good habit? Get an accountability partner.