I often say that our faith as Christians is not an individual endeavor but a communal journey. While it is true that we can follow Christ on our own and call ourselves Christians, it is equally true that being made in God’s image, we were created to be relational beings. We find our greatest fulfillment in life through relationships. Jesus identified this fact in answering the Scribe who asked him:
Matthew 22:36-40 (NLT) 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 He said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the greatest and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
Likewise, when we study and ponder God’s wisdom together we sharpen each other and come closer to a greater understanding of the application of God’s loving wisdom in our lives. When we live in a void of life alone, there is always a possibility that without the loving balance of others, we will go off on a tangent in our understanding.
Proverbs 27:17 (NIV) As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
The truth is that there is a great benefit of good and wholesome relationships in our lives with friends and family. These relationships provide a loving accountability and constructive criticism that helps us to grow and blossom into who God intended us to be. I saw it best said like this, “Just as sharpening an iron blade makes it more effective, close friends sharpen our character.”
Proverbs 13:20 (NIV) Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.
My prayer is that you will wrap yourself in Jesus and surround yourself with loving, wise friends and family who will encourage you in your journey with Jesus…..this journey that we call life.