Pr. 27:17: “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”
As friends, we are able to sharpen our friends in order to strengthen them, build them up, and guide them to keep them focused. They are able to do the same for us. Friends are able to speak into each other’s lives in ways that others cannot.
I was reading 2 Timothy chapter 2 this morning, which relates well to this scripture about friends. We are told in vs. 24 that, “a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.”
While this verse is speaking about correcting those who are distorting the truth of the gospel message, it is also applies to those who have accepted the Lord as their Savior, but are living a life opposed to their beliefs. As friends, we have a more intimate knowledge of one another’s lives and true thoughts. We are able to see discrepancies in each others lives and know if repentance is needed.
Paul tells us not to quarrel, but be able to gently, patiently, and humbly teach each other, in order to let the truth be known and repentance be granted. The truth is in this verse. If your friend is not walking in their faith, they have lost their senses and have been taken captive and ensnared by the devil, to do the devil’s will. As friends, we have the unique opportunity and duty to gently guide our friends to the Lord, so that He can bring repentance and sensibility to them.
We will need to know the Word in order to guide them. We need to be able to tell them that they must be diligent to present themselves approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed. (vs. 15) We need to able to encourage them to flee youthful lusts; but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. (vs. 22) We need to be able to remind them that if they cleanse themselves, they will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work. (vs. 21)
Likewise, if you have a friend rubbing you with the truth of the Word, examine your heart to make sure you haven’t lost your own senses. Perhaps your friend is trying to faithfully sharpen you. Be grateful for a true friend that doesn’t desire that you remain a captive of the devil, to do his will, but instead desires repentance and eternal life for you. Now that’s a friend! 🙂