Proverbs 27:17 ¶ Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. (KJV)
Conversation, communication, even conflict is profitable for us. Relating with others causes us to examine our ideas and beliefs. It causes us to dig deep into the why and why not of our thinking. This principle works when we find those who agree with our thinking and we can bond with them and reinforce our ideas and comfort ourselves in the agreement of a friend. We often look for “yes men” to assure us that we are “right”!
I am not sure that this is exactly what God had in mind in Proverbs 27:17.
Iron Sharpeneth Iron gives the image of two hardened opposing opinions colliding with one another. True the verse uses the word “friend” but does a friend have to agree with me on everything. A true friend would correct and challenge me to greater levels of thinking and being.
Sometimes we avoid the very conflict or confrontations we need to sharpen us to greater effectiveness. Iron sharpeneth iron carries with the image of spark flying, Metal being worn away, friction and heat being produced. But the end result is worth the pain.
A bright shiny new edge that makes us more efficient and effective. Why not be a friend to someone with a different political opinion, or someoneone with a different racial background or someone who has a different view of worship?
What are your thoughts? How can you be used to sharpen others and be sharpened in the process also? Have you experienced this in the past? Tell me your story.