Accountability is key.
He who rebukes a man will find more favor afterward Than he who flatters with the tongue. Proverbs 28:23
My friend, let’s call her Kelly, passed on in 2016. Every time I think about her, I always think that if I had been frank with her , she’d probably still be here on earth enjoying the long life God promised us.
Kelly was a single mother, very smart, had a good job, extremely beautiful and jolly girl that one! One morning she was at a car-washing bay when she met this guy, let’s call him Albert. Albert introduced himself and they immediately exchanged numbers. For the next few weeks, they went on dates, exchanged sweet nothings and were generally smitten with each other.
I realized a few weeks later that my friend wasn’t coming to church. Her excuse was that Sunday was the only day Albert was available to spend time with her since he was extremely busy during the week. I was uncomfortable hearing her say this but I let it pass. There were very many grey areas and red flags in that relationship based on the stories she told me. So many times I wanted to speak up but being naturally averse to confrontation, I was extremely uncomfortable and I feared to offend her I said nothing.
I eventually met the guy when they both passed by my house to drop off a couple of things. My spirit was not right with the general demeanor of this guy hanging out with my friend. Still, I said nothing.
About 8 weeks later, I was on my desk executing very important organizational tasks when my phone rang. My friend was heavy- with child! At that point, I didn’t know whether or not to congratulate her. The next few days were painful because not only did Albert stop calling but he also didn’t show up to check on Kelly. Later on, she heard that he had gotten married and was in Dubai on honeymoon. Imagine at the most vulnerable time of her life and she received this news! I advised her to keep calm for the sake of the child. It was too late. She eventually developed high blood pressure.
She was driving to work towards end of her pregnancy when she developed a strange pain. She was rushed to hospital but because of the high blood pressure, it was too late to save her. We buried her on a Friday. Her new born baby didn’t make it either.
My friend Kelly would probably still be alive if as her friend I had advised her to stay away from a man that was not submitted to Christ, and if I had kept checking on her as her accountability partner.
It’s after she died that I realized that I should have been bold enough to rebuke her and advise her to stop hanging out with him.
What I learnt is to be accountable to my friends, to openly tell them the truth even if it means that we might be at odds
Of course, there is a chance that she would have ignored my advice but I will never know and that’s unsettling.