Brothers, if someone is caught in any wrongdoing, you who are spiritual should restore such a person with a gentle spirit, watching out for yourselves so you also won’t be tempted.
I have found in my experience that the best way to render myself completely useless as an accountability partner is to be in a state of unconfessed sin.
Nothing makes me less likely to ask you about your sexual purity if I know that the question when asked in reciprocity would force me to either lie or confess my failure. When I believe the lie that sin is better than righteousness and then the lie that confession is worse than secrecy, I am worthless to you as an ally, because my allegiance is to sin.
These are two lies that bind:
(1) Sin is better.
(2) Reputation is better.
The best way to be of good use to other Christians in the area of accountability is to be honest about our failures and fervent in pursuing righteousness: in marriage, in ministry, in friendships, in parenting, etc...
1 John 1:8-9
8 If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We must confess when we fall short if we want to create a culture of confessional Christianity where burdens are lifted and lies are eliminated because their sting is removed.
12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions.13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.
If lives are lived in this body as though God really is our aim, we will position ourselves well to both hold accountable and encourage our brothers and sisters onwards and upwards into depth of peace and hope in Jesus.