“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”
Yesterday, I spoke of gaining strength to endure by coming to the Lord daily. There is a balance between works and grace in the struggle with sin that can only be achieved through meaningful one-on-one contact with our Father. Cutting corners will only serve to disappoint.
God also works through his Son’s bride, the church. I’m not talking about a building or a congregation, I’m talking about Christians. Over the past few months, I have had the pleasure of building meaningful relationships with several men who are willing to go far beyond what typically is experienced in a men’s group, a bible study, or even a life group. While all of these have their place, they cannot provide the way accountability partnerships do.
If you recall, I wrote about my need for this awhile back, and God answered my prayer. I’m here, today, to encourage you to pray for such relationships yourself. You really don’t know what it can do for you until you experience it for yourself.
This isn’t intended to replace the role of your spouse. Let’s face it, men and women are different. We should not expect our spouse to provide all our needs in that we don’t need or want any other close relationships. Remember, in heaven, we won’t be married, so this union has limitations. Besides, you and I know that there simply are things that we won’t talk openly about with our spouses. Does that therefore mean we can’t talk about those things? Of course not!
Let me tell you, there is something freeing about learning that another man has the same struggles as I do. And when we share those struggles, we find comradery; and through that, strength to endure. This reminds me of a bible passage:
Romans 5:3-5 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.
Notice how Paul is talking plural. He didn’t say “you” rejoice in “your” sufferings…, did he? No, he said “we.” It’s clear that the Twelve were a group and not individuals. So, let us be convinced it is God’s intention that we work together.
This has been a tough thing for me to get established in my life. I tend to be a loner by nature. It’s not that I don’t like people, because I do, but I’m the kind of person who can work from home. However, I do need people. This includes the need for people to share my struggles with. I experienced the type of honesty I’m talking about through Alcoholics Anonymous, but I couldn’t be free to talk about Jesus there. Then I moved a few years ago, so I lost regular contact with some guys who were pretty close to establishing accountability partnerships. So, I have had to start from scratch.
That was OK, because I have learned a lot in the meantime. Now that I have re-established this in my life, I’m here to say that these relationships are vital if you are serious about driving out the besetting sin in your life. God strengthens us directly AND through other believers.
So, pray for accountability partners. Oh, one more thing. Pray that God re-arranges your schedule. You’ll need time to spend on this. Ask God to find the people AND the time. You can be sure he’ll answer that prayer – if you cooperate.
Father, thank you. Amen.
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers
Photo by Malte Wingen on Unsplash