Archive of ‘Friendship’ category

Trusting God During Transitions

This summer, I packed up all my stuff in my Subaru Forester and traveled half way across the country from Tampa, Florida to Dallas, Texas. I left what I knew for the unknown. I left a community that truly loved and encouraged me every single day. The decision I was making did not make sense. Why would I leave my college community and church family to go to a city where I knew not one soul? (more…)

18 Questions to Ask in an Accountability Friendships

Do you have a friend that you trust and a friend that would love you through anything? That is the type of friend you want to hold you accountable. I encourage you to seek out a friend and set intentional time to ask each other questions about life and spirituality. This is the friend who has always been there for you through hard times, helps you wrestle with specific sins, asks you how you are doing and really wants to know, prays for you and will always speak God’s truth to you in love.

What is an accountability friendship?

Accountability Friendship: Friends who agree to hold each each other accountable to God’s standards for their lives. This includes talking or meeting with someone you trust regularly, reporting where you are spiritually and answering questions. True accountability is not forced. True accountability is chosen.

What does the Bible say about accountability friendships?

“Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” – James 5:16.

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” – Proverbs 27:17.

Once you find a friend to hold you accountable, you will need a method to keep each other accountable. For my friend and I, we have found that taking the time to answer specific questions with each other keeps us on track. It is easy for the conversation to go off track, so I have created questions to help you stay focused. Asking and answering questions with your friend is one of the key parts of accountability friendships.

The questions aren’t to make you feel guilty about your struggles, but to help you see where you are spiritually, where you have room to grow, and where a friend can join beside you to help you thrive.

To help you start this process, I’m providing 4 categories of questions to ask in your friendship. Each category has corresponding questions.

Questions to Ask in an Accountability Friendship

Relational – how are your friendships, family relationships, etc?

  1. Are you surrounding yourself with other believers?
  2. Are you bitter over past conflict?
  3. Are you pouring into others spiritually?
  4. Are you busy comparing your relationships to others?
  5. How is your communication with friends and family?
  6. Are you in conflict and who do you need to forgive?

Purity – are you living a God-honoring life?

  1. Are you setting up boundaries to protect you from impurity?
  2. Are you struggling with sexual sin? (Read how to find freedom.)
  3. Are your thoughts, words and actions bringing God glory?

Relationship with God – are you growing closer to God?

  1. How is your prayer life?
  2. How are your quiet times going?
  3. Have you been sharing your faith with others? (Learn how to share your faith respectfully.)
  4. Have you been journalling? (Read the importance of journalling.)
  5. How is ministry going?

Self – are you taking care of yourself?

  1. Do you love yourself?
  2. How are you doing with body image struggles?
  3. Are you living a healthy lifestyle and taking care of God’s temple?
  4. How is your mental health?

At the end of the conversation, my friend always asks me – did you lie to any of these questions?
We both giggle in response, but this provides one more opportunity to share anything that needs to be shared with your accountability friend.

Remember, this is an example list of questions. Feel free to change it to relate to your specific sin and heart issues within your accountability friendship.

Do you have any other questions to ask in accountability friendships? Comment them below!

Letter to Old Friends from New Self

Dear friends from high school,

A lot has changed since high school. It has been almost 4 years! Can you believe it? I wanted to write a letter to you all and apologize. I openly proclaimed to be a Christian, yet my life said differently. I called myself a Christian because I went to church every Sunday and tried to be a good person – later I realized these two things did not make me a Christian. I gave Jesus a bad reputation because I was not living out Christ’s love. Instead of living for Jesus, I was living for myself. I made decisions based on what would benefit me, please me, and promote me. Everything was about me.

I had everything wrong, and as a result was a horrible example of Jesus’ love and life change because I had yet to experience it. Here are some examples of how my life did not reflect Jesus:

  • My high school boyfriend told me I was a “bad Christian” because my thoughts on boundaries constantly changed.  (Read the story.) 
  • During our relationship, I would push physical boundaries and try and get as far as I could without having sex. I had no idea that even making out can lead to further thoughts, actions, and sin when outside of marriage.
  • I had no idea why I shouldn’t date a non-believer, so I dated them.
  • I didn’t care what the Bible said – I did what I wanted because I was king. I was in control. The Bible as authority had no effect on my life.
  • To gain approval, I was a different person around different groups of friends.

Jesus needed to break me in order for me to realize that I was not living a fully surrendered life. As painful as my freshman year of college was (Read the story), I can look back and be thankful because that was a turning point in my life. I decided to stop living for myself and live for Jesus.

I had experienced Jesus, but not fully. I did not understand important aspects of him: the freedom he brings, the life change, the love that constantly pursues, the feeling of worth, and the countless other blessings he pours on us. Since I did not truly understand Jesus or have a personal relationship with him, I sought approval and satisfaction else where. I changed who I was to gain approval.

Friends, Jesus has changed my life. Do you remember the Joy that needed the love from a guy? The Joy that obsessed over a certain boy? The one who took me years to get over? Do you remember that Joy? I remember her. She was never satisfied with life. She thought this boy would complete her. She thought this boy would give her worth, beauty, love, and completion. She did not know that only Jesus would give her all that she needed.

I called myself a Christian, yet I never spent time with God reading his word. In college, I learned it is impossible to experience life change or be able to love others when I’m not getting filled with God’s word.

I’m sorry for being a bad friend. I’m sorry for giving bad advice. I’m sorry for pressuring you into doing things you might not have wanted to do. I’m sorry I invited you to church, but never shared the gospel with you. I’m sorry I cared more about myself and what others thought about me than you and your salvation.

Jesus has healed my wounds. The wounds from desiring to be loved, from being emotionally abused, from never feeling good enough, and from so much more. Jesus loves me. This love is like no other love. And he feels the same towards you. Jesus loves you.

Thankfully, your salvation is not based on what I did or didn’t do, it is based on what God has done. God can redeem these situations and he can change your life. I’m so thankful for each one of you, if we are still friends or not, because you all impacted my life in some way. I pray that Jesus would come into your life and change your heart the way he changed mine.

Love, Joy

For other posts in the Dear Friend Series, click here.