Proverbs 27~ “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (17).
I recently bought a really good knife sharpener (Warthog V-Sharp Classic II, see on Amazon). The sharpener has two diamond grit rods that form a V and you slide the blade in between the two rods to sharpen the blade—easy-peasy. Then you turn the sides over to the steel honing side for polishing and to get a razor edge. Steel on steel. Friendship is supposed to be steel on steel/iron on iron.
God uses the natural friction that sometimes arises in our friendships to sharpen and polish us to be the people he created us to be.
Both encouragement and correction sharpen us, especially correction—“An open rebuke is better than hidden love! Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy” (27:5-6 NLT). The problem is, we’re not always open to being corrected. We can become defensive and overly sensitive when someone points out a blind spot that needs to be addressed. But according to the Proverbs, a wise person is open, even desirous of correction—“Those on the path of life heed instruction, but those who ignore reproof go astray” (12:1); “A rebuke goes deeper into one who has understanding than a hundred blows into a fool” (17:10); “Correct someone with understanding, and they will gain knowledge” (19:25); “Reprove a wise man and he will love you” (9:7-8).
A Gospel-based rebuke is not simply pointing out someone’s short-comings; it’s helping someone see what they don’t see in light of the Gospel of the grace of God. It’s not just the rebuke that can bring change. It’s the reminder of the love and grace of God that motivates us to want to change and to desire correction.
Come Holy Spirit, create in me a heart that is open to correction. May I receive a rebuke in humility and openness that I may become more and more like Jesus. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.
*We are a church located in Greenville, South Carolina. Our vision is to see God transform us into a community of grace passionately pursuing life and mission with Jesus.*
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Written by Charlie Boyd