Thursday, March 11, 2010

it's about to get ugly

Do you have a friend you can be ugly in front of?

Every week, H and I have a standing date with each other for AP (accountability partner) time, when we go through a detailed list of questions about our walks with God and our areas of sin. Prior to incorporating this list, I would've said our AP time was great, but it meandered and didn't ever really get deep or help me grow in the areas I wanted to. In comparison to where we are now, it's the difference between feeding your soul canned cat food with a rusty pocketknife versus being fork-fed a medium-rare filet.

If you're looking to put rocket boosters on your walk with God, consider this list, add to it whatever you feel is missing, and ask God to help you. (By the way, H and I each have our own sets of additional questions, because we're weak in different areas.) This list not for the faint of heart. It still terrifies me to go through it.

Note: Most of this list came to me compliments of Brad Cooper, the student ministry pastor at NewSpring Church.

Spiritual Disciplines:

- Did you have time with God in the Word and in prayer everyday this week?
- Did you have a Sabbath this week? (best to establish a regular day for it)
- What memory verse(s) did you learn this week? Recite them.
- Have you prayed frequently for me and my walk with the Lord?

Specific Areas of Sin:

A good practice for this section is to trace each sin you encounter back to the things that led to it. For instance, if you viewed sexual materials, what decisions led to that? What lies, sins, or situations contributed, and how can they be avoided in the future?

- Did you make healthy choices for your schedule (appropriate amounts of sleep, exercise, work, etc.) this week? Were you lazy or overly busy?
- Have you been in any compromising situations with a guy this week? "Compromising" can refer to an inappropriate situation itself or to questionable motives in an otherwise appropriate situation.
- Have you looked at porn, any sexual materials, or masturbated this week?
- Have you had too much to drink this week? (best to establish what this means for each individual and what their specific boundaries are.)
- Where have pride, fear, lust, jealousy, unbelief, etc. shown up in your heart this week? Have they taken root anywhere?

Relationship with God:

- How was your integrity as a leader this week (we both have visible positions of service at our local church)? "Integrity" is consistently walking in what you know to be true, regardless of situation or setting.
- Has God brought any new area of conviction/truth to you this week? How have you obeyed/disobeyed in response to that?
- Has there been or is there any rebellion in your life or your heart this week?

We don't answer with yes / no, but with detailed explanations. This kind of honesty is something I've never experienced on a regular basis, and it has already begun to shape me in ways I've always desired but never knew how to achieve. As a result, the friendship is growing into a place of even more freedom and beauty. I can show H the worst parts of me and, because she has shown me her ugliest sides too, there is a mutual acceptance that provides such a breeding ground for grace and mercy. I treasure it.

It's one of the most beautiful ugly things I've ever seen.


Anonymous said...

thanks this needs to be addressed more in each of our lives or how will we know and love christ more

Kelly said...

I so have a wonderful AP! we've known each other since we were 9 years old and seen each other through the good times and bad. Thank you to God for putting her and KEEPING her in my life!