It was a Tuesday morning, and I get a phone call from a college student who is a regular attender of my church. Answering the phone, I’m met with a voice filled with urgency. “Can we meet up today? I really need to talk with you.”
After agreeing to meet, I sat down with this young man and knew what to expect. I had seen it a thousand times—another case of addiction to pornography. Countless times I had met with college-aged men who had enslaved themselves to pornography and wanted help. I figured this case to be no different, but it was.
This young man sat down and said three simple words that changed his life that day. Three words that can get any porn addict on the road to freedom. Three words I fear aren’t said enough: I want accountability.
This seems to be one of the reasons Christians can’t get free from the snare of pornography. The Bible teaches Christians are to “confess your sins to one another” (James 5:16). It’s easy to know, but painful to practice.
The young man who asked me for accountability went on to share why he needed accountability. He had viewed pornography for the first time and knew he needed help from a brother in Christ if he were to walk in purity. He understood why we need to confess our sins to one another, so “that you may be healed” (James 5:16).
The question is this: How can you and I get accountability? I believe three things must be done in order to get accountability and get on the path to freedom from pornography.
1. Find someone in your life you respect who is growing in Christ.
I encourage my students to find someone in your life that models Christ to you and ask them to be your mentor. Who do you know that walks in humility, is genuine and godly? This is the person you need to hold you accountable.
2. Meet with the person holding you accountable and be intentional.
One of the ways I see many people (especially college students) fail in having accountable relationships is a lack of intentionality. When they meet, they end up talking about last night’s basketball game, the weather or their favorite TV show. When you meet with the person you want to hold you accountable, sit down and talk to them about your struggle with porn. Tell them what circumstance you found yourself in when you failed, how you were feeling, what you were thinking, etc. Be intentional.
3. Understand freedom from sin happens through confession.
We were not meant to live life alone. We need to remember God uses people to shape our lives to look like Christ and grow us in holiness. Living life with accountable relationships helps us experience the grace of God dispensed upon those who humble themselves in confession (James 4:6).
Friend, we need each other. Find someone in your life who is living godly and cares about you, then meet up with them and say the three words so many neglect to say: I need accountability.