That is indeed the question for this weekend. Another men’s retreat is upon us. The answer to the question for me is a no brainer. Retreat, of course. And not just because my role as pastor requires it. I would like to think I would make our men’s retreat a priority for a variety of reasons.
However, one stands out to me more than others. Proverbs 27:17 – Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Why invest twenty-four hours with a bunch of brothers from my church? Because isolation makes PC a dull blade. Before I skin a deer in Idaho, I sharpen my knife with a whetstone. Why? The tool works a whole lot better in an otherwise tedious process. The Bible says brothers hanging with brothers doing gospel life and talking gospel things makes men sharp for life. I’m dull enough without skipping a main means God employs for my sharpening.
Charles Bridges, in his classic commentary on the book of Proverbs explains:
“Man was framed not for solitude, but for society (Gen. 2:18). It is only as a social being, that his powers and affections are fully expanded. . . . Steel, whetted against a knife, sharpens the edge. So the collision of different minds whets each the edge of the other. . . . In the sympathies of friendship, when the mind is dull, and the countenance overcast, a word from a friend puts an edge upon the blunted energy, and exhilarates the countenance. . . . Gladly let us take up the bond of brotherhood.”
To retreat or not to retreat? How do you answer the question? Say yes this weekend and gladly take up the bond of brotherhood.