Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron; so a man sharpens his friend’s countenance.” A friend’s countenance is a look or expression of encouragement or moral support. When is the last time you had a friend call you just to ask how you were doing? When is the last time you called a friend and asked her if she needed to talk? Encouragement and moral support from a friend are sometimes the missing ingredients in fighting the battle against Satan.
The writer of Hebrews summed it up when he said, “Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching…” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Accountability is crucially important in the battle to overcome sin. An accountability partner can be there to encourage you, to rebuke you, to teach you, to rejoice with you, and to weep with you. Every Christian should have an accountability partner with whom he or she can pray, talk, confide, and confess.
“Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing…” – I wrestle with this part. Why? Because I’m seeing this “habit” all too often today. Sure, as believers we’ll meet on Sunday’s for that one hour to get our weekly dose of “connection,” but outside of that as believers, at least in my life and community, it doesn’t go beyond Sunday’s. It’s frustrating.
Sure, there are articles, blog posts, tweets and Facebook posts about all the reasons why we’re so busy today, and you’d think with all the written material out there on to change this unhealthy lifestyle we’d get it…but I guess not, because we haven’t. When we (believers) do meet it seems we can’t do so without meeting IN the church building with some event or conference going on. We spend way too much time gathering in arenas around the country for conferences and in our own churches on Sunday mornings then we do outside in everyday life.
So what am I saying? What is the purpose of this post? Honestly…it’s a rant, because I’m tired of us thinking that in order to fellowship or connect (by the way, I don’t like the word connect) it needs to be done inside the church building, at some event or conference, small group, or a bible study at the local coffee shop. I’m not saying there bad, of course not. I’m saying living life with others, meeting together and accountability happens in everyday life, moment by moment. So step outside the comfy coziness of your church, small groups, conference cliques, and coffee clubs and do life with people. Because encouragement and moral support from a friend are sometimes the missing ingredients in fighting the battle against Satan. It’s time to leave the barracks and get out on the battlefield. Don’t wait until Sunday to ask a friend how they are doing because one day they may respond with; “I’m doing ok, thanks for asking, but where were you the other six days of the week?”
Remember, life is one long hiking trip we’re all hiking together. Don’t wait until you reach the shelter to check on a friend to see how they are doing. Blisters and pain happen on the trail, not in the shelter.