As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 NLT
I love this week’s Proverb, and it is probably one of the verses that comes up most often in ministry conversation. It is a popular verse in fellowship ministry for a good reason. Like all of scripture, it is infallible. It always works. A simple reading provides the meaning, but a deeper meditation provides an even greater depth of understanding.
The concept of “iron sharpening iron” obviously implies at least two pieces of iron. It would be impossible for one tool to become sharper without the presence of the other. Left isolated, both blades would be dull and quite useless. This simple Proverb illustrates an important biblical principle. As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. The “sharpening” is gained through fellowship with accountability.
Fellowship with accountability has multiple benefits:
It is prescriptive: If you want to “stay sharp”.
It is preventative: If you want to avoid growing dull.
It is predictive: If you are accountable to others, you will receive the benefit.
It is restorative: If you grow dull there is a way back.
Accountability is not just simply asking another believer what Bible verse they read this morning in their devotional time. That’s too easy, and it almost assumes the recipient of the question would be dishonest in an attempt to take the pressure off the examination. Exchanges like this often are seen as trite and superficial. Genuine accountability demands that the person receiving the counsel or advice is willing to allow the friends to look for the vulnerabilities in their lives, to accept what they point out, and then do something to fix it when they hear it.
This week make a good investment and engage in accountable fellowship.
In His Hands,