Most of us have come to learn that accountability among men is a two way street. On the one side, we need accountability as individuals from other men, and on the other side we need to be an accountability partner to other men. Although these roles are very different, they are both very much needed in our lives.
When we break it down, accountability is an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions. When carefully read, we can see that accountability is something that you are willing to do or you feel obligated to do. Generally we all agree that it’s much easier to be willing to do something than to feel obligated. Obligation will always make you hold back some of your stronger feelings and your time will be wasted in the end. Men must become willing to be held accountable and accept full responsibility for their actions.
Why is it important to be held accountable?
Accountability in one’s life can be a blessing rather than a curse. When you are able to open up and be honest with another man, you will learn that he understands you or has gone through similar problems in his life. God teaches us an effective lesson in the book of 1 Peter that says, “Resist Him (the enemy), standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.” –1 Peter 5:9.
This verse reminds us to remove signs of selfishness and to be more open to sharing our heart, fears and struggles with other men.
Why is it important to hold other men accountable?
It is clear in our culture that men are dying, spiritually, and a lot of it has to do with the pressures of this world. Most men are not willing to talk or share their feelings and that is why we must have a heart to help other men. Hebrews gives us a good idea of what holding other men accountable should look like; “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another” –Hebrews 10:24-25.
What better way to keep your own hypocoristic in check than being responsible for sharpening another man?
WHETSTONE is more than just accountability, it’s about sharpening another man and sharpening yourself. A knife is sharpened by a whetstone. While water is used to lubricate the whetstone prior to sharpening that is not where the “whet” part comes from. To whet actually means to sharpen, like with a man’s appetite and his curiosity. In other words, to whet both blade and man is to put an edge on, with a result that is sharp, dynamic and ready to cut. The unsharpened man is dull and lethargic, ineffective as a leader and ill-prepared for the obstacles he will face in his life.
WHETSTONE partnerships are not for everyone. Like most things in life, you’ll get out what you put it. And in order to truly benefit you need to be committed to your partner. Hard looks and straight talk, tempered by love, get results. Sharpening does not happen by accident. It must be done with deliberate relationship between two men who set out to see it happen.
Like the Shield Lock, the WHETSTONE relationship that is subject to the 3P to be effective: Proximity, Purposeful and Periodic.
• Proximity – although phone and email are good, it does not replace physical meeting where you can look each other in the eye. It is strongly encourage it find a partner that you can meet face to face.
• Purposeful – WHETSTONE is not a bi-weekly social gathering, meetings should be tactful, well thought out, honest and with a particular outcome in mind.
• Periodic – there is no set rule for frequency, but it must be frequent enough to be effective but not too frequent to be overburdening. Every other week seems to be a good cadence.
SO WHAT IS WHETSTONE?
• WHETSTONE is a committed relationship between two men. One (the Stone) serves as a mentor to the other (the Blade), you can serve as both Stone and Blade in most partnerships.
• Although the Stone and Blade may indeed be friends, the WHESTONE differs from a typical friendship. The purpose of the WHETSTONE is the deliberate sharpening effort in helping men to hone the skills and character qualities that comprise the High Impact Man (HIM) he is called to be.
• As with anything F3, WHETSTONE is free, voluntary, at-your-own-risk, and you can modify as needed.
CALL TO ACTION
The Fort and the Rock Regions are joint re-launching WHETSTONE will the purposeful intent of encouraging PAX to honestly evaluate their current life situation and ask themselves why you aren’t a part of WHETSTONE?
WHETSTONE will officially relaunch in late April or early May in the Rock Region. So, be on the lookout for a follow-up PreBlast with additional info on a 1st & 3rd F Convergence, how to sign up for WHETSTONE, and changes to the support structure for WHETSTONE.
Starting examining yourself, think about pax you’d think you’d want to be in a WHETSTONE partnership and talk with fellow pax.
Give us a follow on Twitter @F3RockWhetstone
Until then, mull on these quotes from a few pax who have been engaged in a WHETSTONE partnership:
“If you’re not actively participating in a Whetstone relationship, you’re still in the kiddie pool when it comes to the 2nd F.”
“A man can improve all aspects of live with perspective through council.”
“At a time in my life when I have had so many disruptions and setbacks personally, I could not have imagined how much more my struggle would be without my whetstone partner. There have been times in the last two years that I have been in despair, confused, sad, defeated, depressed, etc. My whetstone partner got in the ditch with me where it was bad. He encouraged me. He prayed with me, for me, and for my family. He helped me keep my faith when my faith was weak. He sent me encouraging Bible verses, he did not judge. I think the greatest gift sometime of a whetstone partner is to just listen. And allow that person to talk. To build trust and confidence that what is said is confidential. There are things in life sometimes that happen that you don’t feel like talking to with a family member or a work friend or sharing at COT. The whetstone partner allows all to be said if it’s working the correct way in my opinion.”
“There are some issues that I just cannot talk about in a COT, but it is comforting to know I can bring them to my whetstone partner and they will be held in confidence and prayed over.” “it’s comforting and challenging to know there is a close friend who is going to ask me the tough questions about where I struggle in life, and they’re not afraid to ask.”
“Having another man in your life that you can speak with freely and share your highs and lows and walk with through life is important and specifically addressed in Scripture. This world throws a lot at us and it’s important to have people in your life that can shine light on the shadows and encourage, challenge, and walk together through this life.”