WHY ACCOUNTABILITY IS IMPORTANT

10 Questions Men of Integrity Answer Honestly



What’s in a Name?

There’s an old Korean proverb that says, “When a tiger dies, he leaves his skin. When a man dies, he leaves his name.” People associate your name with your character and nature.
          In the Lord’s prayer, Jesus taught us to pray, “…hallowed (or holy) be Your name” (Matthew 6:9). In Jesus’s day, a name was not only a way to identify a person but to identify their character. A modern-day equivalent would be a man’s last name. The name was associated with a certain way of living, which is why it was so important for children to“Honor their father and mother” (Exodus 20:12).

Character that Counts

I really enjoyed our Men in the Arena Podcast interview with Rod Handley, Founder of Character that Counts. Rod has served as team chaplain for the Kansas City Royals (1995-2009) and the Seattle SuperSonics (1986-89). He and I also serve together on the National Coalition of Ministries to Men (NCMM) Board of Directors.
          He has written over 30 books including our interview topic, Character Counts: Who's Counting Yours? which details the “why’s” and “how’s” of accountability.
          According to Handley, “Accountability means I am liable to be called to account for my life. It means I am regularly answerable for key areas of my life to certain people. It means I am being held responsible for who I am and what I do.”
          In his book, Rod candidly shares 10 questions he has used for over two decades in his accountability group. I want to share them so that you too will make yourself accountable.


Question #1

“Have you spent daily time in Scriptures and in prayer?”
All of the questions are strategically bookmarked between the 1st and the last question.

Question #2

“Have you had any flirtatious or lustful attitudes, tempting thoughts, or exposed yourself to any explicit materials which would not glorify God?”
Rod asks, “Do you allow impure thoughts about sex to stay in your mind? Are you engaging in any flirtatious activity with anyone who is not your spouse? Have you set your boundaries?”
          All MITA staff and Board members have Covenant Eyes on all their devices to guard against sexual sin.
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Question #3

“Have you been completely above reproach in your financial dealings?”
This includes tithing, credit cards, debt, tax evasion, and the toxicity that pollutes our lives when we pursue, wealth, and materialism over Jesus (Matthew 6:16-34).

Question #4

“Have you spent quality relationship time with family and friends?”
Rod emphasizes the most important human relationship, “After God, the next most important relationship you have is with your spouse.”
          Be careful to make your wife your most important person on the planet.

Question #5

“Have you done your 100% best in your job, school, etc.?”
He writes, “God expects our best efforts in all of our endeavors. Whether on the job, in the classroom, on the athletic field, within our church, or with our spouse, children and family, we are supposed to do our best for God’s glory. God is our audience, not our employer, teacher, coach, pastor, or spouse. When we remember that He is the one whom we serve, our performance can be centered solely on Him.”
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Question #6

“Have you told any half-truths or outright lies, putting yourself in a better light to those around you?”
I often joke about what I call the Redneck Pissing Contest where a bunch of men gather informally and brag about whose kids are better, whose job makes more income, who has more toys, and who has the best-looking wife. My brother Tom calls these guys, “BSers.”
          I call them liars.
          Tell the whole truth, every time.

Question #7

“Have you shared the Gospel with an unbeliever this week?”
Personally, I think this is the weakest of the ten and would probably replace it, not because I don’t share the gospel (Romans 1:16) but because this is closely linked to #1, and there are deeper questions out there.
          When Shanna and I were dating she said something to a group that captivated me, “You are either a missionary or a mission field.”
          I married her a year later.

Question #8

“Have you taken care of your body through daily 1) physical exercise and 2) proper eating and 3) sleeping habits?”
These three areas are the areas that are the most greatly abused and neglected by us guys, but when these disciplines are in good working order, we are ready to take on any challenge. When ignored, we feel lethargic and frustrated.
          Find a healthy balance of weight, sleep (7-8 hours), rest (1 full day off), and physical activity (4-5 times a week).

Question #9

“Have you allowed any person or circumstance to rob you of your joy?”

          In this technological Renaissance, a type of bully has surfaced. I’m thankful for friends like Paul Coughlin, Founder of the Protectors who has given his life to eradicating cyberbullying.
          In the past few weeks, I have gone toe to toe with cowards who hide behind computer screens and take great pride in their aggravated responses. They are joy robbers and whenever I encounter one, I quickly unfollow him or her. Life is tough enough without joy stealers.
          In the past week, I have also stopped watching the news, since it too robs my joy with its hate, lies, and political biases.

Question #10

“Have you lied to us on any of your answers today?”

          Question #1 through #10 are questions to ask every week. For me, this question would prevent most sin and temptations in my life. I wish more men would ask this question.
          How about you?

Boots on the Ground
Get accountable to a few men you trust implicitly. Find a safe place you can confess you sins and step up to the best version of you.

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