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Accountability. It is a difficult word to define, even for those of us who work with it daily. Without accountability, Pure Life Alliance could not be effective. Our efforts in all other areas of purity would suffer immensely. Truth be told, without accountability we would simply close our doors—that is how crucial it is for us.
Our groups are governed by a list of group guidelines. Members and leaders are to be familiar enough with them so as to have a working knowledge of them. That is just a fancy way of saying, “Be sure to use them regularly.” One of these guidelines explains the role of an accountability line:
“We agree to hold other group members to their accountability line as we are held accountable to ours. Without a mutually agreed upon, effective level of accountability there is little likelihood of change.”
Every member of any PLA group needs an accountability line. Until recently we emphasized just two components to the accountability line—behavior and needs. These two parts enable someone to observe their behaviors as an indication of their needs. Effectively, each of us has needs we must fulfill. Sleep is a need. Food is an obvious need. We can not live without water, so it too is a need. These are easy to understand, but what about the more intangible needs?
Is love a need?
What about the desire for impact?
A longing to be valued for what I am rather than what I do?
These intangible needs are often at the root of an addiction. Remember, addiction is unhealthy. That is to imply, we humans often find sinful behaviors that appear to meet these God-given needs. So understanding the connection between our behaviors—moral or immoral—and our needs is a sign of health and maturity. It also allows us to be rightly motivated for behavioral change.
I taught a PLA leader training on strengthening the accountability line, The Third Leg of the Stool.
Viewing behavior and needs as two of the legs of a stool allowed the visual of needing a third leg for stability and strength. I taught that our beliefs are the third leg of the accountability stool. Our beliefs about who we are, God’s character, our purpose and calling—these are the perspectives that undergird our view of personal needs. Our beliefs form a foundation on which everything else rests.
Furthermore, once we’ve uncovered unknown beliefs we must evaluate them against the Truth. So many of our beliefs are not informed by our Lord. They
are often lies perpetuated by the enemy, by our selfish hearts or even by the world around us. The challenge is to right-align our beliefs with the Word of God, so that we may accurately understand our true needs. At this point our behaviors align with truth as well. Our actions then will honor the Lord and be healthy for us and for those we love