Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's Nothing Personal...

I have no doubt that a personal relationship with the Lord is essential to the Christian faith. As a matter of fact, I believe it is the cornerstone of Christianity. However, I believe that the emphasis on "personal" faith has hindered the evangelical church. I have a 15 pound dumbbell sitting on my desk with a plaque that has Proverbs 27:17 written on it: "As iron sharpens iron, so wome man sharpens another." Who ever said that the Christian faith was supposed to be lived alone?

I encourage you to be careful that you do not so personalize your faith that it ceases to grow through the outside influence of others. We've got to sharpen our skills regularly and that happens through the influence of others in our lives. In other words, relationships are key to spiritual growth. You must surround yourself with people who are going to challenge you to be more spiritual every day. And, in turn, you must present the challenge of deeper spirituality to others as well.

Growing in the Lord is, at the same time, personal and communal. It is imperative that you grow personally, but that growth is going to be the greatest when it is influenced by other people. Find some folks you can lean on, let them lean on you, and then get to sharpening. It's OK if sparks fly, it just makes a sharper edge!

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