Last week, while teaching one of my piano students, I was struggling to get them to behave and do as I asked. She is a little girl about 7 years old full of spirit and many stories of her week but she is adorable. I had been warring with the decision to ask her mom to sit in on her lessons to ensure that she behaves, her mother is a little more strict than I am, but I just didn't want to have to do that.
This week, however, she was especially distracted so I finally said, "Chasitie, if you don't behave I'm going to tell your mom to sit in on all of your lessons." Man, did her attitude change. She went from a regular Chatty Cathy to a perfectly behaved little girl, "yes ma'am"s and all.
It made me think about how accountability works. If we are left to make sure we do everything ourselves, we get distracted and we keep heading down a slightly skewed path because there is no one there to remind us where we were really going. Chasitie knew that her mom would hold her accountable for her actions not just during the lesson, but all week. Even just knowing that she had someone to be accountable to changed her attitude completely.
Unlike with a chid, accountability partners don't have to be with us 24/7 and they don't have to be used as a threat to frighten us into obedience. However, accountability partners are still important because it can be all to easy too make excuses to yourself while, I like to think, a good accountability partner will raise an eyebrow at you and say, "Is that so?"
You don't have to be perfect, just willing to be accountable.