Verse 17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
We talked yesterday about our need of having good people surrounding us. Today we will look at what that could look like when we live out community as God desires us to. There are two main ways that we sharpen each other. One is more comfortable than the other. But both are beneficial to a healthy Christian and for a healthy Church.
Communication is a very important aspect of any relationship. It can, in fact, be the visible evidence of a healthy relationship and that is one reason it is so important in an abiding life. For us to be growing in Christ and with each other we need to be intentional about our relationships and part of that is learning the when and how of matching iron to iron.
The best way to sharpen iron is to run it against the sharpening tool but that doesn’t mean that it has to be done roughly. In fact to do it roughly would actually mean that you will not get a smooth cutting edge. The truth is that sharpening communication is a skill that needs to be learned if we are going to be efficient at it. And we need to remember that the point of this sharpening is for the glory of God and the building up of the Church. For healthy branches and bountiful fruit.
So how do we go about this sharpening of iron? First off we need to make sure our motive is pure. This sharpening can’t be about us making a point. The truth of the matter is that we are to be having conversations that will allow both sides to give their views and find the truth of the matter as well as remaining in loving communion. This last part is probably the hardest as it pushes against our pride to keep in a relationship with someone that may still believe different than we do and all without it causing fractions between others and the person we have just communicated with. It is also important to keep in mind that sometimes we are on the receiving end of these conversations and we need to humbly accept what we are being told.
The other side of this sharpening is the part that is relatively simple and can make a great deal of difference yet something we don’t engage in as often as we should. While the corrective talk can push towards being tense, this type of sharpening almost always leads to a happy conversation and maybe even a new friendship. It is the act of verbally encouraging. This is a genuine comment about something you see in the other person that you admire or that inspires you in your Christian walk. These are the kind of conversations that spur us on to living in ways that shine God’s light into the world.
Making It Personal
Have you ever been in one of these sharpening conversations? Was it handled in a godly manner? Who do you need to have an iron relationship with today?
Making It Personal Kids
How can having a bad friend keep you from growing closer to Jesus? How can having good friends help us to be better Christians? What kind of friend are you?
Father, please teach us to be the kind of friends we need to be to live the lives You want us to live. Give us the strength and wisdom to know when we need to speak up. In Jesus’ name, amen.