(Editor's Note: This article was first published in the August print edition of The Stand. It was written by Parker Kathleen May.)
Do you remember back in grade school when your teacher would pair up students during a field trip? They would be each other’s buddies, and they needed to remain with their buddies throughout the trip. This was to make sure that the students were all together and safe.
Even though we are not children anymore, the buddy system still has merit. It is a dangerous world, especially for Christians, and it is easier to conform to the way the world wants us to when we are alone. Having a spiritual buddy system is an effective way to strengthen our resolve in a world that hates God and to ensure that we are staying on the right path.
The world throws all it can at us to wear us down, and we are easily beaten when we try to fight back alone. Proverbs 27:17 states, “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (KJV). When we allow ourselves to be with other believers, it serves as a reminder of what we are fighting for. Having a friend not only reassures us that we are not alone but helps us gain more confidence to fight against ungodliness and worldliness. We have access to a support system that allows us to be able to rely on each other in times of need, and we can stand stronger because of it.
When we keep to ourselves, it becomes harder to keep our resolve to stand against sin. Temptation can come when we least expect it, and often, we alone are not enough to stop it. Having someone to keep us accountable is a wonderful way to help us keep from falling back into old sins. James 5:16 tells us to share our faults with each other. We should let a trusted friend know what our burdens are so that we can pray for and help each other through our struggles. When we allow ourselves to get help and support, it becomes easier to say no to the sin that continually tries to eat at us throughout the day.
Even though we sometimes pretend we are perfect, we are not. Because we are human, there will be times that we give in to what the world wants. It is an inevitable, biblical fact, but that does not mean that we should give up. When we are alone, it is easy to be discouraged, especially when we fall, and it might seem like there is no reason to get up again. According to Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, two are better than one because when one falls the other can help. Having spiritual accountability means not only relying on each other during the good times but also during the tough ones. It is easier to continue when we have others to encourage us to keep fighting.
Some people on Earth feel alone, and others even wish to go through life alone. But we are not supposed to be solitary creatures; God said so in Genesis 2:18 when He decided that Adam needed a helper. It is not natural for us to be by ourselves, and it is clearly stated in the Bible that we need each other in many ways. As the church, we are a community that needs to stick together. If you lack accountability in your life, find a fellow Christian or two to help you, and help them in return. It will make you all the better for it.