Mark Dever gives us a necessary ingredient for edifying accountability relationships:
The first lesson was provoked when one dear brother reproached
himself for not reaching out more to this mutual friend, not asking
more questions about how our mutual friend was doing. I told him that
I had met with this friend weekly and often asked him many questions.
I didn’t think he (my self-reproachful friend) was so much in the wrong
as our mutual friend was wrong for not being honest. Lesson
number one: no accountability relationships will work if there is not
a commitment to honesty on the part of the person in question.
The problem wasn’t a lack of initiative toward him; the problem was his
hiding the truth from us. If I am committed to my sin above a humble,
self-revealing honesty, then I can’t rely on any accountability
structure or loving friendships to expose my sin and protect my soul.
I must remember that if I am to war against sin, I must labor to be
We need to be honest and open to our brothers and sisters who are
holding us accountable. Twice, God communicates hi hatred for lying in
16 There are six things that the Lord hates,
seven that are an abomination to him:
17 haughty eyes, a lying tongue,
and hands that shed innocent blood,
18 a heart that devises wicked plans,
feet that make haste to run to evil,
19 a false witness who breathes out lies,
and one who sows discord among brothers.