Who Are You Sharpening?
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 ESV
Today Steve got a text from Crystal telling him that Gabi (our last granddaughter) pinched her older brother Mason. Her older sister, Sophia took her aside, prayed and also read some scriptures to her. Sophia is seven years old but definitely has an old soul. I said to Steve, “ not sure the text she read had anything to do with the pinching but she knew who and where to go for Biblical advice.” My heart was glad that my granddaughter didn’t yell or judge her sister but prayed with her instead and gave her God’s word. This is definitely an individual encouraging another in the word. She is definitely sharpening her sister’s spirit.
I thought how many times I have judged or exhorted someone with a self-righteous attitude instead showing love as Sophia showed love to her little sister. Most of us are quick to judge or degrade another when they fall short and instead of us taking the time to say, “ You said something that I really didn’t agree with, do you mind if we pray before discussing it?” I think that would be such an encouragement to the other person instead of leaving them with words that would bruise them for a long time. I am sure many of you had where people had no idea where your heart was and just beat you up with words. Each of us had been in that position on either side.
The first women’s retreat that I spoke at, a dear friend gave me a gift that was a flat iron and a beautiful card. It is something that I would never forget. In the card she wrote the above verse and said that is what we do for each other. She had no idea how encouraging that was to me.
What does Iron sharpens iron and one man sharpens another mean? When a knife becomes dull, one can rub it against a file or a piece of iron and it will sharpen it. This will bring the knife back to its full use.
Biblically, the verse means that as believers, we need to build each other up, encourage and strengthen one another. We are to be positive and not bearers of negative comments to each other or about others. Encourage each other to read the word of God so we all can grow in spiritual knowledge. When we are discouraged or being beaten down, the brethren needs to encourage us with words of wisdom not make us feel worse. We are to have fellowship with each other.
“And they devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were saved” Acts 2:42-47. What a great picture here for us as how we should live with each other. Remember when David was pursued by Saul, it was Saul’s son Jonathan who encouraged David to find strength in the Lord. He was the iron who sharpened David. 1Samuel 23:16.
My dear friend, who are you sharpening today or whom are you beating down with discouragement? Each of us need to always take a step back and ask God why do we always have to feel that we need to reprimand others instead of loving them with prayers and encouraging words? I am not saying that some don’t need to be exhorted or dealt with seriously but let us always come to each other with prayer and the word to encourage them. Let us live in harmony with each other, remember that we are not on this earth to compete with each other but to reach the lost for Jesus Christ. None of us are better than the other, it really doesn’t matter the house we live in, the job we have, the church we attend, how we dress, the car we drive, how much money we have in the bank or who we know. All God is concerned is where we will spend eternity and that is what our concern should be for those who are not in Christ Jesus.
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, “Two are better than one because they produce a good work. If one falls, his friend is there to help him up. But, pity the fool who falls and has no one to help him up.”
I am so glad that my Sophia is there to encourage and help her sister. I pray that each of us will be there to encourage each other.
Father, please give us a heart to love and encourage each other. Remind us that there is no room for jealousy and pride among your children because that is what makes us feel that we are better than the other. In Jesus’ name Amen!
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