Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend (Prov 27:17); He is in the way of life that keepeth instruction: but he that refuseth reproof erreth (Prov 10:17)~~ There are times for us to sharpen and times for us to be sharpened. To be sharpened as a man is to be made ready for life; useful, helpful and productive in life and society. Our sharpness reflects the fullness of life: physically, emotionally, socially and most importantly, spiritually. Sharpening a good knife smoothes away the jagged edges so that it can do its job with the best precision and with the best results. A man ‘sharpening’ another is to coach, teach, lead guide, mentor or redirect to correct an errant behavior or habit.
Unfortunately many of us become agitated when we are on the receiving end of direction and correction…We often don’t like being told what to do, or that we should change some aspect of our lives. We get offended and bitter when we are “sharpened” and we even criticize and question the right of someone else to exercise ‘sharpening’ over us. To protect our ‘ego’ we go into defense mode and deflect that correction back at that person or we justify our shortcomings in analogous parables. We even throw back a ‘don’t judge me’ Bible verse or two at them as if to say they are not ‘holy’ enough to issue correction on us.
Truth is, each of us has a unique abundance of wisdom to share; BUT each of us can also stand to do better in life. None of us are perfect, BUT each of us has much to offer to one another. Our responsibility though is to keep ‘our ways’ from letting us be too self righteous and always wanting to speak correction; or too stubborn in ‘our ways’ to hear correction. We must always be open, in every circumstance to take heed of wise counsel with caution in whom we converse with; and we are called to have intent, in activity and conversation, to make one another wiser and better. No matter what our status, stature or demographic, we are all created in God’s image and under His wisdom, subject to guidance. No matter how great our morals, we have all erred in life and fallen short of God’s glory. Don’t be so proud that you elevate yourself above reproof. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble (1 Pet 5:5).