I just spent another weekend with about ten guys in Texas. I've made this trip for the past few years and we've decided to make it an annual Outdoor Truths event. This year we exclusively hunted hogs, while previous times, turkey season was open as well. It was there I shot my first Rio, but every year is memorable for one reason or another. The guys who attend are diverse when it comes to hunting. Some are proficient and are skilled veterans. Others are either just beginning or only do it a few times a year. The great thing about this trip is hunting is only a small part of the weekend. It claims no more importance than cooking, resting, hanging out, talking trash, learning, and sharing perspectives on everything in our lives – including faith. These men just need to be with other men in a small, safe, non-judgmental environment, where we can push and push back. We need a place where iron sharpens iron. I've never really been a fan of that statement (verse), until I saw it in action last week. I came away sharper because of those men who gave me new perspective and challenged my own. Many of them attend mega churches, but what they said they longed for, are weekends like these where they can have fun and be more engaged by God's truths, that can only happen in circles and not in rows. This is exactly the method Jesus used to change the world. He took a small group of men and turned them into spokesmen for the kingdom of God. They had hurts, habits, and hang-ups, but instead of disqualifying them, these exterior characteristics only magnified the power that was now inside them. And when their purpose became bigger than their problem, they refused to focus on themselves but only on those who needed to hear the message of grace.
I say all of this to encourage you to find a small faith-group to engage with. In that group you will meet men (or women, if you're a lady in a small group) who are flawed just like you. You will find those who are going through pain and suffering. You will find men with struggles and doubts. You will find like-minded men and those who will oppose you. You will find iron. And if you will apply the iron of your personality and perspective to the iron of your brother's personality and perspective, you will both leave less focused on your faults and more focused on the fact that you are better prepared for the battle God has called you to fight.