Me to We - Part 3
Lord, I ask you to provide the opportunity for me to walk with my brothers and sisters in a way that will increase our maturity and wisdom. I also ask that You show me how to be led and guided by a spirit of love.
Read: Proverbs 27:17 NIV
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
I remember going to Old Cowtown when my kids were younger. My oldest was fascinated by the blacksmith. He sat there for probably an hour watching, fascinated by the fire, the tools, the work and the results.
In the Church we speak pretty comfortably about “iron sharpening iron” as we think about our conversations over coffee or talking about the latest Christian book that’s getting all the buzz.
But iron sharpening iron is not a pretty process. It’s violent. It involves at least one piece of that iron spending time in the fire. It happens when two pieces of iron crash into each other and sparks fly. According to scripture this is a metaphor of some amount of our interactions with each other...and it’s supposedly good!
So how is that good? Wouldn’t that kind of interaction bring about strife and division? Wouldn’t it result in hurt feelings and create damaging offenses? Probably. How could it do anything else?
I have a handful of friends that I trust completely. Most have been friends for many years and we have walked through some hard times together. These are men that I’ve had deep discussions with about spiritual truths and there have been times when they’ve taken me on. They’ve questioned some of my beliefs as they have evolved and “matured”. They’ve questioned my motives at times. They’ve called out my behavior and my sinfulness. I didn’t like any of it, but it was good. More than good it was life giving because I truly trusted these men and knew they loved me and wanted the best for me. But it was ugly too. Sparks flew. (Some of) my rough edges gave way.
Who needs this abuse? Well...we all do. In case you have forgotten, 1 Cor. 13 NIV reminds us that “we see through a glass, darkly”. We think we have it all figured out, but we always see “in part” so we need those around us to challenge us. Sometimes the Bible is hard to understand. Sometimes God is hard to understand. We need each other as we wrestle through hard issues in our faith.
Are you willing to be challenged? Are you willing to challenge? Are you willing to love your brothers and sisters in Christ by having those hard conversations?
Jesus, surround me with believers who love me enough to confront me. Give me the courage to open myself up to being challenged. By Your Holy Spirit working in and among us, teach us Your ways.