Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 is the primary text for this lesson.

The author shows that this passage teaches that two working together can produce spiritual fruit (v. 9), that it can provide spiritual restoration (v. 10), prompt spiritual zeal (v. 11), and provide spiritual protection (v. 12).

He provides compelling arguments that if we are serious about releasing weight and the behaviors and attitudes that have gotten us into trouble we have to have to have to be willing to have an up front, in your face, speaking the truth in love, accountability partner.

Some time back, I posted to my blog about this very thing. You can read that entry here.

Mike Cleveland in The Lord’s Table workbook, points out that when in accountability:
“You agree to openness and honesty. Bondage to overeating brings deception with it; some of us have been deceptive for years. If we want to lose the slavery to sin it starts with honesty, even if it is humbling.” (TLT p. 49)

I have found this to be so true and YES, I DO have an accountability partner. Every winter, I know for a fact I need one, but this time, she landed in my lap as a gift from Heaven to me from God. It is the most amazing story and I would NOT be surviving this time of literal emotional, spiritual, and previously physical withdrawal from my dependence on diet soda (I know that sounds dramatic, but what I have experienced is nothing short of an addict’s withdrawal symptoms!) without this amazing lady.

In September, I heard about a Thin Within group that was at a church not far from where my 83 year old mother lives. I emailed the contact person and said I would be more than eager to offer to support or help the group, sharing my experience and a bit about my testimony including my blog. The amazing thing is…the leader of the group lives in my SMALL TOWN community…and leads that group at that church even though it is about 45 minutes or so away from both of us! We met for breakfast in September and she boldly asked if I would be her accountability partner.

At that time, I was overwhelmed with life and wasn’t sure my husband would feel it wise for me to do that…I had NO idea just how much I WOULD NEED HER! I am grateful that my husband said he thought it would be fine since she was a real life contact and not just an email contact — there is something about seeing one another every so often that makes it more real or something.

This lady has been the real deal. Her honest seeking the Lord and his healing has so touched my heart. I have been blown away by how BADLY she wants this healing and how much she is willing to endure to get it. She is definitely living all the things Beth Moore taught about in the Breaking Free taping…even though she has never seen this material. This lady is willing to go after this and I know she IS breaking free. She WILL live in total freedom.

But in the past few weeks, as I have been trying to get through some emotional hurdles and do it without depending on diet soda, I have been SO blessed by her loving encouragement and her compassionate observations. Gosh, the lady is a therapist…the Lord knew I needed one!!!!

I know that I WILL make it through this difficult time with her support, prayers and counsel. She may have thought this was about HER, but God has used HER so much in my life already…and continues to. What a blessing.

I want that for everyone who wants to be free. I see why Mike Cleveland in this lesson is so adamant that we MUST be in accountability. Without it, we sort of are hedging our bets…we have an out…we can do something in secret…

I asked my husband last night to keep me accountable as well. I need to up the ante right now while I am struggling so much.

I also have decided to start using the hunger graphs again and to keep them on the dining table where the entire family can see them. This is SO humbling to me…I have tried NOT to do that in the past…and been mortified when someone in the family has scrutinized my hunger graph and said something to me about it. I am asking for that accountability now, though. I know I need it. My tendency to deceive has resurfaced (or maybe it was always there…).

I want TRUTH in the inward parts. I want my MIND to be renewed. I don’t want to long for food even inwardly. I want to LONG for God, to pant for HIM, to say with the psalmist with heart-felt genuine honesty:

Whom have I in heaven but you?
And earth has nothing I desire besides you.
My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart
and my portion forever.
Psalm 73:25-26