When you think of friends gathering together, what comes to mind–garden parties, lunch dates, Bible studies or maybe scrapbooking retreats? What about knife-sharpening get-togethers? No? Really?
What does sharpening knives have to do with friendship? The thought seems way out in left field…that is, until we read Proverbs 27:17.
As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17
At first I wondered if this proverb were suggesting that we should grind on each other’s nerves. I’ve been there and done that. Actually, I believe this verse is speaking of the kind of investments that help each person to become keener in her perceptions, sharper in her wit, and more directed in her energies.
We have to remember though when we try to tell others what they ought to do, even if we’re right, we won’t ring true to our advice if we aren’t living our own counsel. Authenticity is the cutting edge that adds relevancy to our offering.
I’ve been blessed with hundreds of women who are attempting to live theirs lives with a clear ring, and I’ve deeply benefited from their counsel. Occasionally they tell me what I don’t want to hear, but those who are walking their talk are hard to resist because I’m aware that their comments are neither frivolous nor untested. They offer us the keen truths they’ve learned, but God’s Spirit alone forges our character.