One of the current "buzz words" in our culture is "accountability"...seems like everyone wants "someone" to be "accountable" for something....and most have no idea what "accountablity" really means.
Not sure that I have an exhaustive definition, but that's never stopped me before. But anywho, I'm very thankful for "accountability."
I continue to learn how important relationships really are in my life. I have to admit that I have some of the very dearest people on earth in my "big family"--and most of them are not biological relatives either. Many of these folk have known me for quite a while--ten years or more. They know my strengths (both of them), and my flaws (as numerous as the sands of the seas, if I may quote an Old Testament euphemism). Yet, they still claim to love me. I have no valid grounds on which to dispute their claims, or to deny their love for me. I'm thankful for it.
However, these same people also know that I have to be "responsible" in my life. Responsible with my finances, health, job, and most importantly, my spiritual walk with Christ. They are not afraid to "call me out" when I am headed toward a cliff. These are not people who would let me waltz on the ragged edge of disaster without first warning me, and then warning me again.
And some of my friends with less tenure (friends in the 10 years or less category) have been marvelous in keeping me honest, and pure, and upright. We don't always agree on some of the "fine print" in life...but most of the time we do.
For example, my great friends Joe and Alex. Both of these fine men know many of my self-disclosed flaws--and some of the flaws that I haven't bothered disclosing as well. I am convinced that either man would have no problem making sure that I remain "honest" about what is going on in my world, and willing to "assist me" if such need were to arise. Both men have given me wise counsel, and a listening heart in times past. Both men have cried with me, and laughed with me. That means a lot in my life.
When I think of accountability, I do not, repeat DO NOT mean "emotional manipulation." Accountability works both ways. It travels a tw0-way street, and usually observes the speed limit. I'm grateful for those in my life who hold me accountable (yes, Cheryl, I am VERY grateful for you), especially when it makes me uncomfortable...and makes me think.