Recently I watched the award-winning series, “Band of Brothers“, for the third time. What incredible action. What amazing heroes. What an astonishing story! For those who don’t know, it is a 10-part miniseries based on the book by Stephen Ambrose. It vividly retells the story of the US Army’s Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, from their uncompromising boot camp training in 1942 through to the capture of Hitlers Eagle’s Nest in 1945.
This series powerfully portrays the humanity of the men involved in the war; their camaraderie, teamwork, brotherhood, trust and loyalty.
While watching this series, I again realized the importance of relationship, community and accountability and how critical they are to the health, longevity, relevance and effectiveness of a leader.
These men realized they could not fight the war alone. In fact, if they had any chance of surviving the war they had to depend on those in the trenches with them.
The English poet, John Donne said, “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.”
This may seem a little foolish to women, as it appears to come naturally for them, but men need to learn that they need each other – it’s the way God made us! We need to become a Band of Brothers. Scripture says: “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken” (Ecclesiastes 4:12) and Proverbs 27:17 states: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
James 5:16 challenges even more strongly: “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other.” This is deeply challenging. James does not seem to be making a suggestion. He challenges us to be transparent, vulnerable and accountable at a very deep and intimate level.
Part of the reason James’ words are challenging is that he wants us not only to be honest with others – but open and honest with ourselves. We often try to avoid being truly honest with ourselves and as a result, struggle to be honest with others. James cuts through all pretence.
Without accountability you and I are vulnerable! Without accountability, we are potentially easy targets for failure spiritually, relationally, morally, ethically or sexually.
Are you in any form of accountability relationship or friendship? Why or why not?
Are you being honest with yourself and your accountability partner or friends? Why or why not?
I’ve heard leaders say they’re not able to find anyone to be accountable with – but I feel this is more symptomatic of the condition of their own heart than the fact there is no one to be in relationship with.
“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)
You are not in this alone! Keep healthy, meaningful friendships and relationships as a vital support.
Here are some helpful thoughts if you need help with being transparent.