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Making Ourselves Accountable

By Dr. Don Dunlap
Pastoral Counselor
Reinforcing our wills with a bond of accountability is a powerful way to conquering impure thoughts.

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Do you make promises to yourself, only to find that your resolve quickly dissolves? When we commit to ourselves to do a certain thing, we have only ourselves to answer to. If we confide our plan in a trusted Christian friend, however, we double our accountability. In the 6th article of a seven-part series on conquering impure thoughts, Dr. Don Dunlap encourages readers to make themselves accountable to others in the battle against impure thoughts.

We find one of the most powerful means for conquering impure thoughts in the sixth principle. We must reinforce our wills by a bond of accountability. When we resolve within ourselves to do something, we have only ourselves to answer to. But if we confide in a trusted Christian friend and tell him what we plan to do, we double our accountability.

We find God-given strength in a spiritual bond of accountability.

It is helpful to make a covenant with a Christian friend to contact him or her, to ask for prayer each time we are tempted to entertain impure thoughts. The thought of having to tell this friend will be a powerful new motivation to resist the temptation. Our need for prayer will prompt him or her to be a more effective spiritual protector for us. His or her prayers will also be an effective force for our victory over temptation.


There is no need to go into detail when we request prayer. The Bible instructs us not to speak of the details of evil. Our accountability partner, however, should check with us later to see whether his or her protective prayers were effective.


In this way, we fulfill the command of James 5:16,

Confess your sins one to another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

God has a double blessing in store—for us and for our accountability partners.


When we choose to make ourselves accountable to someone, God offers us the opportunity for a double victory each time we are tempted. First, we realize the need to memorize Scripture and second, the person who is responsible for our spiritual oversight is motivated to greater godliness.


Many people who have established this covenant and who have been faithful to follow through on a bond of accountability have been amazed and encouraged by the results.

Marriage partners may choose to become accountable to one another for their thought lives. One of the most effective and reassuring requests that a husband can make of his wife is to ask her to help him guard his eyes in public. When she notices him taking a second look, or a long first look at another woman, she should make a statement about the woman that would help her husband to see her from God’s perspective.

At the same time, she would be reminding her husband of the need to guard his eyes and his heart. This type of accountability actually draws the couple together and strengthens their communication with each other.

We should not expect to instantly win the war against impure thoughts. We must press on in faith.

The seventh principle for conquering impure thoughts is to realize that we must fight many battles in order to win a war. Too often, we expect overnight success in our endeavors. Regardless of the sincerity of our commitment, or the earnestness of our prayers, we will inevitably fall at some point. We should not, however, be discouraged when we fail.

The writer of Proverbs 24:10 admonishes us,

If you falter in times of trouble, how small is your strength!

Instead, we must be determined to continue fighting the battle against sin, by the grace of God. We should heed the words of Matthew 26:41, “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”



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