Iron sharpening iron

One day last week my friend told me something I didn’t like hearing. In fact, I was embarrassed and a little hurt that she so readily agreed with my confessed shortcoming. I suppose I wanted her to dismiss it or, at the very least, make me feel better about it. Instead, she was honest enough—and enough of my friend—to acknowledge (what I perceived to be) the harsh truth.

I guess part of me would like to be mad about it but I’m not. Really. I’m not. “Faithful are the wounds of a friend,” the Bible tells me, and my friend’s gentle rebuke not only proves her friendship to me; it serves as a lesson in humility. As is so often the case, humility is sometimes best learned through humiliation.

As iron sharpens iron, so one friend encourages and corrects another. I am glad for friends who love me enough to speak Truth, however unpleasant it may be. I am thankful we do not walk this journey alone, that the Holy Spirit uses relationships to teach us, encourage us and sharpen us. We are interdependent rather than independent and, as such, we need each other. I am the better for the many friendships the Lord has granted me over the years, godly women who have modeled for me both by word and deed what it is to live for Jesus. To my friends–young, old, real, virtual, near, far–I think you know who you are and I pray you realize that the influence you’ve had on my life is nothing short of profound.

This morning I studied Hebrews 10 and the exhortation to “consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…encouraging one another.” I want to be that kind of friend! Let us seek to encourage and exhort one another as friends and sisters in the Lord—even when it means we must sometimes say the hard thing. And let us be humble enough to accept the faithful exhortation of a good friend, even those that wound. May we be the kind of friends who love each other as Jesus has loved us and gave Himself up for us!

Author: Lisa Spence

Wife, mother, Bible teacher, bibliophile, occasional blogger

5 thoughts on “Iron sharpening iron”

  1. Believe it or not, I am sitting here working on that very passage for this Thursday's Hebrews study. I was thinking about thankful I am for my Bible study companions and how grateful I am that they are the kind of friends who truly do stir me up to love and good works!Friends like that are a great blessing, aren't they?

  2. You certainly are that friend to me right now! Knowing you're praying lifts my spirits.I'm studying Hebrews right now, too. Felt the Holy Spirit's leading there during this time.

  3. Funny thing with women . . . we're eager to be "honest" but not so eager to accept another's honesty. Good for you for humbly accepting your friend's word to you.

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