Accountability and commitment are important when it comes to community and friendship, however accountability is about more than just “manning up”. It’s a vulnerable place and when the environment is perceived as hostile, people tend to either clam up of find the nearest exit. Sometimes calling a friend to the table is necessary, however nurturing a relational culture of calling others out often doesn’t produce the desired results. It only shames, which tends to cultivate fear, pride, and further hiding. However when people have a safe environment defined by grace they are much more likely to stop hiding and be accountable. I recently heard someone use the term “Partners in grace”. I like that. Are you willing to share your own weakness? Will you let others see the log in your own eye through your own stories so that they know they’re not alone. Can they trust that you are for them and not going to use it against them; that you will be honest with them without condemning them? Creating a safe space invites honest vulnerability sans fear. It empowers others to tear down their walls and come out of hiding. This is something that I am still learning to do.