PROVERBS DAY #27: YOU MUST NOT GO ALONE!
“An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.” (Prov. 27:5-6).
“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” (Prov. 27:17).
The Book of Proverbs has a lot of wisdom for friendships. On Day #12 we learned that we should choose our friends wisely, because we will become like those we hang around with. On Day #17 we learned three more keys for having strong and healthy relationships: love at all times, help your friends when they’re in trouble, and be friendly! All throughout this book of wisdom, we have gleaned many other helpful principles for our relationships, from guarding against strife and anger, to controlling our tongue. Today, we are going to look at another important principle for our friendships: accountability.
What is accountability? The dictionary defines it as to be “responsible to someone or for some action; answerable.” In other words, God wants us to be responsible for one another, to help each other to grow in the Lord! When Solomon says that an open rebuke is better than hidden love, it means that sometimes in our friendships, we need to challenge our friends, when we see them getting off track or into something that we know is dangerous. These wounds from a friend may hurt, but the ultimate result is to help them to grow. It’s like iron sharpening iron – we challenge each other to be the best that we can be.
When I was a student at Pacific Life Bible College (I graduated in 1999, so this was a while back!), I learned an important statistic that I have never forgotten. Seven out of ten leaders – men and women called by God to the ministry – will fail. They will either leave the ministry because of moral failure and are disqualified, or they will give up because they are burned out or discouraged. Do you know what the three out of ten leaders that finished well had in common? Only one thing: accountable relationships with another Christian.
I’ve said many times before that there are no Lone Rangers in the Body of Christ. However, if you are a young person, you might not know who the Lone Ranger is. I remember watching re-runs of that old western TV show when I was a kid, the story of a masked Texas Ranger who fought injustice in the wild west. But ironically, even though his name was the Lone Ranger, he still had a trusty side-kick, a Native American named Tonto. Batman had Robin. Frodo had Samwise – and the “Fellowship of the Nine.” Robin Hood had his merry men. And Jesus sent His disciples out two by two for a very good reason. You must not go through life alone! “Two are better than one, Because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up..” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).
TODAY’S READING: PROVERBS CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN.
Pastor Chris Jordan