|Good morning everyone,|
Our theme for this month: “Great thoughts from great Christians”
Our Bible verse for today: “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)
Our thought for today: “We need three key relationships”
Building on Leighton Ford’s personal practice which he described as “I surround myself with the thoughts of those who have thought much about God.”, in this series we’re exploring great thoughts from great Christians.
Early in my life as a new Christian I heard a statement made in a sermon which profoundly impacted me, and which became something of a guiding principle for me in the practice of my faith. The sermon was preached at a Promise Keepers event in Los Angeles by Professor Howard Hendricks. Howard was a longtime professor at Dallas Theological Seminary. He was also the author of numerous books, and he was a popular speaker on the Promise Keepers circuit. Here’s the statement he made that day which so impacted me:
“Every man needs three relationships in his life: he needs a Paul, he needs a Barnabas, and he needs a Timothy.”
In the rest of the sermon Professor Hendricks explained that every man needs to have a Paul in his life – someone who is older and wiser than him and who will serve as a mentor. Every man also needs a Barnabas – a close and trusted friend who is on the same level spiritually with him. This is someone who loves him but who is not overly impressed by him, and who will speak plain truth to him. And then every man needs a Timothy – a younger man into whose life he is building and for whom he is being Paul.
It was a brilliant sermon, and powerfully true. We all (men and women) need a trusted mentor we can turn to for good counsel and who we are willing to learn from. We all also need at least one Barnabas in our life. This is the close friend with whom it is safe to be completely honest and transparent, and who will tell us what we need to hear – not just what we want to hear. And then, we should all be in the process of building into the life of a younger person. Not only do we need to have a Paul in our own life, but we need to be someone else’s Paul.
Do you have those three key relationships in your life? If you don’t, I encourage you to pray about it and ask God to open your eyes to who could fill those three roles in your life. Chances are you already know individuals, maybe in your church family, who would be happy to have such a relationship with you.
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