lift me up

A Spiritual Fitbit – the importance of accountability

A couple of weeks ago, my husband surprised with a new piece of jewelry – a Fitbit. I love it; the thing is amazing. Not only does it make me aware of how many steps I take, but I can track my food and water intake, set goals, see calories burned, get notified when I have a call on my cell phone, track sleep (or lack thereof as is sometimes the case at my house), and much more. I had been wanting one for a while. Since my Divine Dishes kitchen is downstairs, I’ve been curious about how many times I go up and down in a day. Now, my Fitbit tells me. (Thirteen times today, in case you were wondering.) I have no idea how the thing works, or how accurate it really is, but it does it’s job well even if it is somewhat of a placebo. With a quick glance at my wrist or my phone, I can tell if I need to get moving, or if I should be exhausted; whether the rumbling in my stomach is because I’m burning up the calories, or if cooking all day has just made me feel hungry. I like feeling like I know what’s going on with my diet and exercise. I don’t know that my Fitbit is keeping me fit, but it is keeping me aware. I am definitely conscious of my eating, drinking, and exercise habits.

As I considered how aware the Fitbit makes me of my physical activity, I realized that this constant awareness lacks in another area of my life. I am in need of a spiritual fitbit. Unfortunately, they don’t sell those on Amazon, believe it or not. Wouldn’t it be awesome if you could wear a wristband that tracked the time spent in prayer, reading God’s word, and serving others? Maybe it would vibrate when you got caught in the middle of a sin you had been struggling with. You could set an alarm reminding you to be grateful for your blessings. Don’t forget about the app connected to the fitbit. The spiritual fitbit app could provide you with graphs charting your time spent with the Lord and the blessings resulting from it. It could track prayers and answers. It would probably note that a decrease of time spent in the Word increases the stress levels. Maybe wearing a spiritual fitbit would make me more aware of my spiritual activity and motivate me to be more consistent and walk a few more “spiritual steps”.

Or, maybe, I don’t need a device – maybe, I need a friend. Instead of a spiritual fitbit, I need an accountability partner. When I Googled Bible verses about accountability, one site listed over 30 verses as suggestions. I decided to examine a few of them in connection to this idea of a spiritual fitbit. Hebrews 10:24 states, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.” An accountability partner could encourage me and push me to serve the Lord just like my Fitbit spurs me on toward physical activity. When I look at the step count on my Fitbit and see that it is low, it helps me realize that I need to get moving. In the same way, an accountability partner, can help us recognize our weaknesses and work to improve. “If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up” (Ecclesiastes 4:10). We were created to desire partnership and need help from others. God did not intend for us to live in isolation; we are a family of believers. “So we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another” (Romans 12:5). The Lord wants us to help each other, love each other, encourage each other, and hold each other accountable.

I can’t imagine what the Old Testament prophets or New Testament apostles might think about a device such as the Fitbit, but I think it’s clear that they would agree that we need a spiritual fitbit. Someone who will not just ask about our prayer life, but who will pray with us. Someone who will check in with us and ask about our quiet times and discuss God’s word. Someone who will serve with us side-by-side to love the Lord through our actions. Someone who will call us out when we fail to follow God’s will or struggle with sin. Someone who will love us and encourage us to reach our goals and potential for Christ.

So who is your spiritual fitbit? If you don’t have one, who could you ask? Since spiritual fitbits aren’t available on Amazon, you’ll want to shop elsewhere. Find someone you trust, feel comfortable with, and, most importantly, who also has a personal relationship with the Lord. You don’t have to be “equal” in your walk with Christ, but you should share a love for the Lord and a desire to serve him and live for him. You may want to think twice about choosing your spouse. Holding each other accountable may feel more like nagging in that relationship. While a husband and wife should discuss their faith and share a relationship with the Lord, that spiritual fitbit might squeeze the wrist a little too tight and become uncomfortable. If you’re not sure who to ask, consult the director of the spiritual fitbit program – God himself. Pray that God would bring someone into your life to be your accountability partner; ask that he leads you to a friend who will fit you well. Once you’ve found the right fit, start using your spiritual fitbit to move forward in your faith and motivate and inspire you to draw closer to the Lord.

Prayer:

Father, thank you for creating us in a way that we would desire friendship. Help us to build positive friendships pleasing to you. Help us to strengthen, love, and encourage each other as well as hold each other accountable. Please continue to put people in my life who will teach me how to draw closer to you.

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