1 Peter 5:8 describes our enemy, the devil, as a ‘roaring lion, who walks around,
seeking someone to devour.’ This passage is not just an effective picture of the
realities of temptation, but an important warning to stick together. Sticking together is
absolutely an essential part of addiction recovery. In order to be healed, we need to be
transparent with one another. God created us to be in community and relationship
with not just him, but one another.
Those who struggle with addictive behaviors especially tend to have difficulty forming
and maintaining accountable relationships. They resist accountability because it is
contrary to the way they have become comfortable living; they live as rugged
individualists. Most people with addiction don’t want to be held accountable and want
to be the boss of their own recovery program.
But those who do not remain accountable to others do not recover. This is not just an
issue of control; they are also hiding. Allowing another person access can leave one
feeling somewhat naked or exposed. After hiding behind their masks for so long, they
have convinced themselves that no one will truly accept them the way they are.
Accountability relationships should be supportive and encouraging, although many do
not fully utilize the support available to them. It is not uncommon for people who have
relapsed say that while they thought of calling their accountability partner for support,
they didn’t. Sometimes they were afraid they would bother them, felt ashamed, or
simply didn’t want to stop. This is stinking thinking! A support group was asked how
they felt when they received a call for support from their accountability partner. Their
answer . . . they actually felt important when they were asked for help. It not only
helps the person calling, but strengthens the partner as well.
One of the best ways to train yourself to call your accountability partner for help is to
practice. Call them when you have a victory. It is much easier to reach out when you
feel victorious, rather than shamed. When you call before you are in trouble, it
strengthens your confidence in the relationship. “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend
sharpens a friend” Proverbs 27:17 NLT