A man without self-control is like a city broken into and left without walls. —Proverbs 25:27

Do you see a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. —Proverbs 26:12

Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips. —Proverbs 27:2

Oil and perfume make the heart glad, and the sweetness of a friend comes from his earnest counsel. —Proverbs 27:9

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. —Proverbs 27:17

            What a picture of a man without self-control. A city without walls has no protection from the enemy and so it is with a man without self-control. He has no defense against that which would harm him. He would be wise not to trust in himself. To only trust in self is to be a fool, but how sweet it is of a friend who comes with earnest counsel. “Whoever isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all sound judgment” (Proverbs 18:1).  The person who will not take counsel has to praise Himself, but God’s Word is clear— “Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; a stranger, and not your own lips.” Those who observe us will know what we stand for.   I can say anything about myself, but what matters is what others see. They will see the evidence that I am living for self or living for our Lord.   That is what it means for our light to shine— “  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us” (I Peter 2:12).  Even the lost will know what we stand for!

            Being a follower of Jesus is to sharpen each other. It is a two way relationship and not just one way. There is not sharpening that takes place if we are alone. We are to “consider how to spur one another on to love and good deeds. Let us not neglect meeting together, as some have made a habit, but let us encourage one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25). Yes, we are to be with each other, spur one another on to love and good deeds and be encouraging each other— As “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. 

            So how are you and I doing in this?   Are we self-controlled? —“fruit of the Spirit is… self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23). Are we being wise in our own eyes? — “Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety” (Proverbs 11:14).  Are we praising ourselves? —“Well done, my good servant!” his master replied. “Because you have been trustworthy in a very small matter, take charge of ten cities” (Luke 19:17). Am I being sharpen and sharpening? —“Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good…  that its members should have mutual concern for one another” (I Corinthians 12:7, 25). May we not be isolated, independent islands to ourselves, but interdependent within the Body of Christ, His Church. 

Dear Father I thank You for those in the Body of Christ that seeks the best interests of others and not only their own interests. May I be like that as well in the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son, Jesus. So be it!

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