We All Need Iron
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” - Proverbs 27:17
This past week/end, I was away for my annual Akonizo study leave.
I’m sure you’re asking yourself “what in the world does Akonizo mean?” Well, there’s a pretty nerdy seminary answer to that - it’s the Greek word for sharpen, which was used in the Greek translation of the Old Testament from Proverbs 27:17 above.
Yeah, the kind of nerdy thing that seminary graduates come up with.
The verse is so very true though. It’s the idea that as we live life together, as we share in each other’s struggles, prod each other forward, not settling for the trite, shallow answers but really dig deep, we are sharpened and made more effective in our lives and our mission.
We all need others. We all need other iron to sharpen us. As I’ve said many times, we simply can’t do this life alone. And we’re not meant to.
This year, having gone through the COVID pandemic (and really, still going through it), has been rough. While it was nice to get away, nice to relax and nice to do some activities I rarely get to do… for two days, something just felt different. Maybe it was me. Maybe I was just too tired. And then came my turn - my turn to share, my turn for them to ask probing questions, my turn for them to sharpen me - and my turn for them to lay hands on me and pray.
After nearly 15 years together, this remains the most fundamental and moving moment of our time together. And at that time, as they prayed, I was reminded again that this is the absolute best way I can spent a week of my life.
One of the questions that came up for us was how exactly can we help others, especially other men, to experience this same kind of support, encouragement and sharpening that we get from each other? Now, more than ever, it seems vital. I don’t have an answer for that, but I’d love to be in conversation with you about it.
In the middle of our time, one of them defined a friend as “someone you can share something with and they won’t use it against you.” Do you have that? Do you have one, two, or three close friends that you can share with that won’t turn around and use that information against you? Do you have one, two, or three friends who want to support, encourage and strengthen you? Do you have one, two, or three friends who help you feel more alive, who remind you of what is real and true, who pull you closer to Jesus because of their friendship?
Do you want some? I’d love to help make that happen for you and honestly, I could do with a little more iron in my life too.
Welcoming you to Grow in Jesus,