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Encouragement is one of the major roles of accountability (1 Thessalonians 5:11). Does this sound strange to you? Does it sound like a contradiction to talk about an accountability partner and an encourager as being one in the same person? It is only a strange concept if we view accountability as a restrictive or controlling relationship.

Encouragement should not be the exception; it should be the rule in the accountability relationship. You may be encouraging one another because of a hardship, struggle, challenge, failure, setting of goals or as a cheerleader; but the bottom line is that you are there for each other in the difficult times of life as well as the victories (2 Timothy 3:1-2).

All accountability partners should be encouragers. If somehow you have linked up with one that is only concerned about what the Apostle Peter refers to in 1 Peter 5:3 as “Lording it over you,” then find another one. Life is too short and there is too much to be gained from this incredible relationship to miss all the benefits (Romans 14: 19).

I have been blessed to have godly men in my life as accountability partners. They have challenged, rebuked and exhorted me, but they have always been encouragers. I want to share just a few of the ways I have benefited from their encouragement in my life.

  • Calls just to check on me, without an agenda
  • One-on-one time to discuss my spiritual life, goals progress and struggles
  • Open transparency about their own personal lives
  • Challenges concerning areas of growth that we could work on together
  • Reading and discussing books together sometimes over the phone and sometimes via other media tools
  • Notes of encouragement (handwritten, e-mails, Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
  • A consistent concern about my whole life, not just the spiritual aspect  
  • Knowing when to talk and when to just be there
  • Knowing when to confront me to get me back on track
  • Loving, accepting and believing in me

I am a blessed man to have people in my life who care about me enough to tell me the truth. They are my accountability partners, my encouragers, but most of all they are my friends. I think some people have looked at accountability as if it were negative and required having harsh relationships. I submit to you that it is quite the contrary and is one of the most rewarding, encouraging relationships we can experience!

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