Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”
“No man is an island.”
John Donne is credited to have wrote this in a poem, “Devotions upon and Emergent Occasions” in 1624. He may have been inspired by the Apostle Paul’s epistle to the Romans.
Romans 14:7 “For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.”
God created us to have interaction with one another. He created us to have friendships and be in relationship with each other. Early on, we learn how to interact and resolve conflict. We learn sharing and preferring one another.
Many of us can credit a friend with having stuck with us through a rough patch, or giving us the needed encouragement at the right time. A true friend will tell us what we are unwilling to tell ourselves. A truly good friend will make us a better version of ourself.
Far too many of us are trying to be ‘normal’ when we cannot even agree on a definition of normal for everyone. Many of us learn through trial and error how to navigate this thing called ‘friends.’ God helps us along by giving us principles by which we can define our friendships.
True friendships are revealed in their constancy.
Jonathan and David were two such friends.
1 Samuel 20:17 “And Jonathan caused David to swear again, because he loved him: for he loved him as he loved his own soul.”
Paul had two such friends in the ministry.
Romans 16:3-4 “Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.”
I found it interesting in today’s passage, that God refers to good friends as iron sharpening iron. If you strike two pieces of iron together, sparks will fly. Iron is strong enough to mold and shape the piece that it strikes.
Often, we are resistant to change in whatever form it comes. We grow comfortable and are at ease with where we are at and what we have accomplished. It is almost like our life is on cruise control – set it and forget it.
God never intended our lives to be static.
We take in tens of thousands of images a day. Our mind tries to process them and discern what to do. It is estimated that we make about 35,000 decisions every day. Some are so small as to open or close a drawer. Others are whether or not to speak, be critical, encourage, or love.
As children of God, we must take His admonishment of our friendships seriously. We may have the catalyst that will open our friend to great possibilities or keep them from harm. They will never know unless we speak and share what we believe is needed and necessary.
Our enemy knows the power of relationship all too well. What Lucifer lost cannot be quantified. He had position, power, beauty, and was as close to God as any would have wanted. Pride grew in his heart and vaporized all that he had as he chose to be God’s enemy. Hell and the lake of fire are reserved for him and all who followed him.
God never intended for you and I to ever go to such a place. Yet, when we reject and rebel like Satan, we incur the same punishment and penalty for our sin.
I have heard it said that a true friend will never let a friend go to Hell without warning. I have friends and family who have been told and have received Jesus as their Savior. I also have friends and family who are unsaved who, if they do not receive Jesus as their Savior, will have no other recourse but to be cast into thee lake of fire.
Because we love them, we must confront them.
Yes, sparks may fly.
In the end, hopefully, they will know and understand that you did it out of love. But, tell them we must!