Last blog we talked about the importance of accountability and having a sponsor. Today I want to take it a step further. What are the qualities of a sponsor? When you are selecting a sponsor or accountability partner look for the following qualities:
- Does their walk match their talk? Be certain that the person that you choose as a sponsor is someone whose life example is worthy of shadowing.
- Do they have a growing relationship with Jesus Christ? Do you see the characteristics of Christ developing in them? Are they showing the Fruit of the Spirit? Do they show the Mind of Christ?
- Do they express the desire to help others? There is a difference between helping others and trying to fix others. Compassion is key!
- Are they a good listener? Do you sense that they honestly care about what you have to say? Look for eye contact, or the person acknowledging what you are sharing with them. If we are willing to open up, we deserve someone to show support and be a good listener.
- Are they strong enough to confront your denial or procrastination? Do they care enough about you and your growth to challenge you? We do not need someone who simply co-signs our crap.
- Do they offer suggestions? Sometimes we need help in seeing options or alternatives that we are unable to find or see on our own. A good sponsor can take an objective view and offer suggestions. They should not give orders!
- Can they share their own current struggles with others? Are they willing to open up and be vulnerable and transparent? I don’t want someone who goes on like every day is a bowl of cherries and unicorns. I want someone who lets me know their human and that they have struggles or problems in life.
- How Do I Find a Sponsor and/or an Accountability Partner? LISTEN AND LOOK FOR YOUR STYLE. Find someone who has what you are looking for. If you want to grow in prayer, find a prayer warrior. If you need help in being a better spouse or parent, find someone who excels in those areas. You don’t just stop at the car dealer and purchase the first car you see…this is no different.
Here are a few final random thoughts and ideas in closing that have been very useful to me over the years:
- Find someone of the same-sex as you. This will eliminate a lot of problems from a lot of different angles…period! It is also not recommended to have your spouse as a sponsor. The roles of spouse and sponsor are basically incompatible; we are either blind to the character defects of our beloved or likely to be too critical. Besides, the temptation to control a spouse is hard enough to resist without add the pressure of sponsorship.
- Can you relate to this person’s story? If you are choosing someone to be your sponsor, does he or she meet the qualities of a good sponsor that we just covered? For me it helped to select a sponsor who has victory in the similar hurt, habit, or hang-up as I do and who has experience in where I want to go.
- Get involved! Find a place to serve and get plugged in. Some great opportunities to meet people and find a sponsor can happen when serving.
- If you ask someone to be your sponsor and/or an accountability partner, and that person says no, do not take it as a personal rejection. If they turn you down, go and ask someone else! You can even ask for a “temporary” sponsor and/or an accountability partner. Remember, these are not lifetime commitments.
- Most important, ask God to lead you to the sponsor and/or an accountability partner of His choosing. He knows you, your situation, and your needs. He has someone in mind already for you. All you need to do is ask and be patient.
Today is the day I will find accountability in my life! Today is the day I will recover!