For years, in church and at conferences, men have been hearing about accountability partners, accountability groups, and accountability software. We’ve heard all about accountability, that it’s a good idea, that we should find someone with whom we can be accountable, but other than an exhortation to ‘ask the hard questions’ and maybe be provided with a generic list of some of those hard questions, we were pretty much on our own. We’re like the men that Gross met on a plan: they installed the software on the computer to help them with a porn problem, and then hit the strip clubs in Vegas. The unspoken message being that if you stay away from internet porn, you’re doing OK. Until now. Craig Gross makes it clear that there are other issues in our lives, and why we need to be open about them all.
“Open: What Happens When You Get Real, Get Honest, and Get Accountable” (Thomas Nelson, 2013) doesn’t just tell us that being accountable to someone is a good way to deal with one of the very prevalent sexual sins of today’s society. At some level we already know that. But Gross goes farther, and using examples, his own, those of his group members, of people he meets at conferences and on airplanes, he gets real with us as to why we need this gift called accountability and how it serves in all areas of life: porn, yes, but also marital relations, finances, diet, exercise, time management, and just about any other issue you might be dealing with.
And after the examples, comes the work. Gross not only offers examples of why and what, but also how. Face to face, phone, Skype, a weekend retreat, tailoring the questions, answering the questions ahead of time, to make the most of the regularly scheduled time together.
For years we’ve heard that accountability is a good idea, now we get some insight into why, and how, to be in a relationship that demands gut wrenching accountability. We get examples of how it works, and just as importantly because Gross is so open about his own experiences, we get to see that all this noise about being open and accountable is more than just a good idea. It really works.
Sorry, guys, it’s not a read the book and get over it, type of deal. This is a good idea, an idea that works, but it involves some commitment on your part. Read the book, apply the principles, and watch your life get better!
Highly recommended for men in general, anyone involved with men’s ministry and youth pastors (you don’t really think that you 7th grader hasn’t been exposed to stuff on line, do you?)
I received a copy of this book in exchange for this review.