WORDS | SHARAYAH LE LEUX
ART | LAURA DUTRA
We often find ourselves in a mentality where we are content going through life bearing our trials on our own shoulders. Thoughts encompass our minds like, “she can’t help me with this,” “he’s got enough problems of his own,” or, “why would they even care?”
I am not one to so readily share with others the struggles I face each day. I occasionally find myself falling into the trap of thinking that I can handle it all on my own, but this is not how God called you or me to be.
How easy it is to agree with these thoughts, but I encourage you, friend, do not fall for the enemy’s lies. Satan wants to get us alone, he wants to make us feel isolated, like no one cares. Rest assured there are many who care for you, and among those is Jesus Christ. He loves you deeply beyond measure and like the truest friend, He laid down His life for you.
As believers, the enemy attacks us daily and it is imperative that we surround ourselves with godly friendships. We are not meant to bear the struggles of this life alone.
Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
This verse means so much more than just iron sharpens iron. This is a challenge for us to become the iron that sharpens another person. But how do we become the iron that sharpens someone else? Below are some examples of how to sharpen yourself and others.
Strive to be in the Word:
Set time aside each day to read your Bible, do devotion, or listen to a sermon on the radio or a podcast. The Lord sets divine appointments; you may come across something that ministers to you and that you may also feel can minister to someone else. By being in the Word each day, you ensure that you can stand strong in your faith and can pour into others.
Another aspect of this is reading the Word with others. Reading a portion of scripture or doing a devotional with friends offers great insight into God’s Word because it speaks differently to each of us and it allows us to share our different viewpoints and revelations with each other.
Spend time in fellowship:
Fellowshipping with other believers is more than hanging out. In these times you are able to divulge and be vulnerable about what you are experiencing. This allows you to bear one another’s burdens through listening and encouraging one another. By investing this time you are able to show God’s love and genuinely be there for someone. These times also allow you to impart your experiences, which can be the encouragement or push a friend may need to continue moving forward.
In being vulnerable and sharing what you are going through with close friends you have people who can hold you accountable. Accountability allows you to check in with one another and offer encouragement when you are feeling down in the dumps or need prayer. By sharing these burdens together you find the support and community necessary to overcome the obstacles you experience.
However, be careful with whom you choose to share your struggles because your privacy is important. You do not want to hear about your struggles from Janice down the street when you didn’t tell her personally. These individuals should be a confidant and someone who will not just make you feel good, but rather be real with you. You want someone who will come alongside and help make your next attempt at overcoming an obstacle better.
Be a prayer warrior:
Support is more than just listening. Support is acting on the struggles we see others going through. One of the best ways to support a hurting friend is through prayer. Prayer is powerful. Open fellowship, a meal, or coffee is good but starting or ending it in prayer reminds everyone of our higher calling.. Pray with others, but also pray for them. Pray for the trials they are facing and pray for them to walk boldly in their faith.
Draw near to God:
Actions truly do speak louder than words. Use your testimony and actions to encourage others to magnify and glorify God. We are made in His image and anything you do with others or alone should draw you closer to God, not away from Him. Build one another up and make sure the activities you choose to partake in honor God's name.
I challenge you to strive to become the iron that sharpens iron as you pursue friendships that are pleasing to God. Remember that you are not alone in this world. Hold tight to the friendships our Lord blesses you with and cover each person in love. In every relationship, pray to see how you can be the iron that sharpens them.