Monday, March 20, 2006

Iron Sharpening Iron

My Life Journal really touched me today, so I thought I would take a chance to share since I have not yet done so on my blog.

"Iron Sharpening Iron"
1 Corinthinans 5:12-13 "I'm not responsible for what the outsiders do, but don't we have some responsibility for those within our community of believers? God decides on the outsiders, but we need to decide when our brothers and sisters are out of line and, if necessary, clean house."

Observation: As imperfect people, it can be difficult to attempt to hold others accountable for their sins. We know in our hearts that we are as sinful as they are and as much in need of the grace of God as they are. But God tells us as a community of believers, as people who are all committed to following God together, we have the right and responsibility to hold each other to God's standards for our lives.

Application: As a leader, this can be pretty easily understood - we must hold those in our congregation to follow the life God has set before them. I'm thinking today more as a friend, a sister, a future wife - of those personal relationships I have with other God followers. Do I hold them to the challenges God has set before us all? Do I encourage them to live selfless lives of loving and serving others? Do I model that? Do I open myself up for scrutiny so thath they would do the same for me? How honest am I about the struggles I face and enlisting the help of others to gain victory over them? If I want to live in accountable relationships, I should initiate them and ask the people I love and who love me to show that love by challenging me in the areas where I need it most.

Prayer: Father, I am convicted today that I can do a much better job of holding the people I love to the standards you have set for us, to following you not just in word but in our thoughts and our actions. I see that a good step for me in moving that direction would be to set myself up first and ask others to hold me accountable. So, Father, please give me wisdom to know what important things I can work on to be a better follower of You and who can and will hold me to those standards firmly and lovingly.

This was really good for me today; we convince ourselves into thinking we can overcome our sin on our own - "I'll do better next time" or "I hate this feeling, so I know I won't succomb to this again." If we are truly intent on winning the battles we fight, why not enlist more troops to join us? Who among us could not use the support and encouragement of others involved in the same war we are waging? I want real, honest relationships that not only make me feel the warm fuzzies inside, but are unflinchingly honest with the love of Christ and want to see me grow and change to be more like Him.


Heth said...

This was a wonderful word Angela, thanks for sharing it with us. I love your last line....

"I want real, honest relationships that not only make me feel the warm fuzzies inside, but are unflinchingly honest with the love of Christ and want to see me grow and change to be more like Him."

meLanie said...

isn't that what we long for- real relationships? good and bad, more than just walking past eachother in the gym with a pasted on smile?
thanks for being you.

Angela said...

Yes, we do!! And we'll get it back as soon as this wedding is over. :-)

Natalie Joy said...

Good words, Ang. I have always longed for a relationship that was so close and trusting and grounded in God that we could "call each other" on our junk in love. Thanks for being that kind of friend for me.

T said...

It's hard though isn't it? I mean, when you ask for accountability, you open yourself up to wounds in so many directions in human relationships. Yet, I would never want to be without unaccountability.. and the hurts from the sharks truly are worth the benefits in the good relationships. Good word!