Sharp Stuff

imageHad a great chat with friends at breakfast last week. One of the issues was accountability and how it happens.

Everyone calls for it but of course we always want to be in the “driver’s seat”. In other words it’s a great deal more comfortable being the one CALLING for accountability than being called to account yourself!

It hasn’t happened yet- and might not due to schedules… but I may be able to spend a few hours in the woods at some point this autumn. So I’m about to check my Swiss Army knife to be sure it’s sharpened.

I have been, best I know how, sharpening knives for years, both my own and sometimes my wife has a kitchen knife or two, shears and such that I sharpen for her.

I’ve learned several methods that seem to work well using everything from basic wet stones to “crock sticks” that mount in a wooden base, a “Lansky” sharpening system that uses clamps and where you place the blade at various levels in order to take the old steel off a bit, and level-by-level finally get it to a finer, honed shape, basic files, all the way to a sidewalk when nothing else was available to help get a sharper edge on a blade.

Sometimes I just use the little one-hand, shorter sticks that are encased in plastic where you run the blade through about a dozen times and that’s that.

Depending on several variables (use of fine oil or none, the kind of material the blade is made out of, etc.) any of these methods can do the job.

Then again, some work better with -some- blades in terms of the sharpened edge both getting sharp and with regard to holding an edge for a lot longer before having to do it again.

Myself and many others I know quote the following biblical proverb from time to time:

“Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.”

“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” (Proverbs 27.17)

There is a truth here… that of friendship. It’s not always possible to truly be a friend of those who you are trying to sharpen- and that goes for their “sharpening” you as well… but friendship is likely the easiest and best way for the process to prove fruitful.

When someone clearly loves you- and you them, it’s a lot easier to hold one another accountable. When the relationship is truly based on genuine love, accountability, though often painful- is likely to be successful as opposed to two upset parties slugging it out over whatever issues and one or both parties don’t really care in a deep, loving way about the welfare of the other. Sometimes it’s about winning, not authentic love or accountability. Hmmmm!

While we can’t always know the other person’s motives and true heart- and they don’t always know ours -it does seem true that genuine friendship is the key in -loving- God’s way, in accountability that builds up even though there is a “tearing down” factor involved.

Are you in a band or choir? Church? Politics? Neighborhood folks? No major solutions here, just thinking about the process 🙂

Thanks for stopping by! -Glenn

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2 thoughts on “Sharp Stuff

  1. So how does that work in a church setting? I have friends I believe I could say almost anything to and it wouldn’t destroy the friendship. At church it seems at least in my experience that there are bosses and employees. I just can’t tell my boss anything and not fear for my job.

    • Daniel, I hear you and don’t disagree with the minefield situation in many churches as well as (for that matter) job sites, bands, you-name-the-group. So much depends on me. Plenty depends on those you’re linking with. If the best you can truly (truly) do is associate, that’s the way it is until you can move, get a ride, find a better group. But in too many cases the issue is -me- living the Word out regardless if others seem to in said group or not. The primo deal is finding and getting deep with friends who also have the guts to tell you when you’re out to lunch but stick with you in His love. Such friends are friends indeed. If it’s a paid gig not based on friendship but performance this is a problem. Likewise, if it’s basic bill-paying (on your part) rather than friendship, it may be your ground motive is part of the problem. If it’s both, this is a relationship based on supply and demand, not so much koinonia and spiritual growth/friendship in Christ. A gig is a gig. Sad but reality that too much of what goes on in and outside “church” is supply-demand based, not faith, hope, love, service. Hope this helps clarify. Thanks for writing! -Glenn

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