I am honored—absolutely honored—to have a select group of Godly men in my life that are in no way afraid to bust my chops when I get out of line. One group is a group of men that I only know virtually through an online forum. The other group is a group in my local church. Still others are valued friends that I know from other venues. These are men that have stuck by my side through thick and thin, through fire and flame. They have comforted me when I needed it, encouraged me when I needed it, and absolutely thrown me to the mat when I needed it. They have continually exhibited courage by being unafraid to speak a word of rebuke to me at those times when I have rightly warranted it. These are men whom I have relied upon for guidance, for strength, and for Godly friendship.
We are told in Scriptures that iron sharpens iron. I know from personal experience that iron is only sharpened with friction, with heat, with pressure, and by the shearing away of all that is dull until a sharp, battle-ready edge is honed. I've often thought that--for the iron--this cannot be considered a comfortable experience.
This is the job of Godly men: To be a friend that does not fear truth, whether spoken or received. To foster a friendship that endures discomfort. To craft a relationship that knows the Biblical reality that steadfastly standing by another in battle in no way mitigates the responsibility of using the double-edged sword of the Word to pierce a fellow warrior’s self-reliant and sinfully self-centered armor. Godly men know that the phrase “I’ve got your back” means that we know we can trust one another for protection from the flaming arrows of the enemy as well as we know the full meaning of the words “wounds from a friend can be trusted.”
In other words, the job of Godly men is to forge friendships that center upon the cross, where our sin and salvation meet. And God—in His Divine grace and wisdom—has given me friends such as these.
Together, we stand. Together, we fight. Together, we confess our failings and receive absolution for our sins. And as we do, the Kingdom of Heaven advances in our own lives as it does in our communities.
Today—as always—I thank God for these, my friends.