This story was originally published in the spring edition of The Master’s University Magazine.
Accountable2You, an accountability software company co-founded by Ben and Alissa Lawrence, recently released a free online guide outlining a biblical approach to “living with integrity in a pornographic age.”
This is the latest publication reflecting the company’s long-standing philosophy that simply using accountability tools will not change anyone — tools must be accompanied by genuine relationships and a wholehearted pursuit of Christ.
“Accountability software makes transparency very easy,” Ben says. “And as a company, we wanted to enable transparency. But we’ve never wanted to promote our software as the answer to sin. Transparency is one part of accountability, but it isn’t the whole thing.”
The guide is organized around three steps that Ben and Alissa say are all indispensable in the fight against sexual sin: fleeing from sin, coming to Christ, and sharing with others.
“You see incomplete approaches to fighting pornography everywhere, even at conferences where we’re promoting accountability,” Ben says. “People will come by and say, ‘All I need is the Holy Spirit,’ and others will say, ‘All I need is my buddies,’ and others will say, ‘All I need is this tool.’ But it’s hard to make it work without all three.”
The Lawrences felt a burden to publish this resource because they perceived a general trend of bad advice in many of the books and sermons aimed at Christians battling sexual sin. Many well-meaning Christian teachers imply that “all you need is Jesus,” so believers can fight pornography alone. Many also assume that this is a fight that can’t be decisively won.
“The leading thinking is that if you struggle with this, it will be a lifelong struggle,” Ben says. “But Scripture says that sexual sin ‘should not even be named among you’ — that this is something that can and must be overcome.”
Accountable2You’s online guide is an attempt to correct these ideas, arguing from key passages such as 2 Timothy 2:22, Ephesians 5:3, and Proverbs 18:1. The goal throughout is to make a biblical case that believers can be victorious over sexual sin when they fight it wholeheartedly, for the sake of Christ, in company with mature Christians who can lovingly hold them accountable.
Harry Walls, campus pastor and vice president of student life at The Master’s University, echoes Accountable2You’s sentiment. He says that accountability is the friend of integrity — not a substitute for it. “You can beat any system,” Walls says. “Integrity is first and foremost an issue of the heart.”
The key, Walls says, is meditation on God’s Word.
“It begins with saying ‘yes’ to the Word of God before you have to say ‘no’ to your flesh,” Walls says, pointing to Proverbs 7. “What Solomon is saying is, if you will keep God’s Word in your heart — if you apply it and treasure it — the words that you’ve built a relationship with will keep you from the adulterous woman.”
Those who are satisfied in the Lord and His Word, Walls said, won’t look elsewhere for satisfaction. As Proverbs 27:7 says, “A satisfied soul tramples the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul any bitter thing is sweet” (LSB).
“Hungry people eat,” Walls says. “I don’t care what kind of accountability you have, you’re not going to starve yourself. But if you’re saturating yourself in God’s Word, accountability is a strengthener.”
The Lawrences have the same perspective. They know that software tools can go a long way in facilitating accountability relationships (Accountable2You reports on device activity, analyzes screen time, and offers instant alerts for questionable content). But they are convinced that simply developing software is not enough.
“It’s not a software that will set you free,” Ben says. “It’s following what the Lord has laid out in His Word.”
Accountable2You is a corporate partner of TMU. The company’s illustrated guide on living with integrity is available for free at accountable2you.com.
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