“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  (Proverbs 27:17, NIV)

In the scriptures, there are verses and passages that are smooth and gentle — but this isn’t one of them.

In our kitchen are knives that I sharpen before each use; they don’t work well otherwise. The act of sharpening the edge requires metal on metal, and at the end of it, neither the sharpening steel nor the knife are the same. The former fulfills purpose in the process, and sacrifices tiny filings of itself; the latter is made adequate for its tasks as it, too, sacrifices tiny filings of itself in the process.

There are people whose interactions with us are anything but smooth and gentle. Sometimes we avoid such situations.  Sometimes we resent having allowed such situations to occur.  Occasionally, we see beyond the irritation and the pain inherent in such interactions to a benefit that could not have occurred otherwise.

Know that God is at work in each of your daily interactions with others.  Sometimes you are the knife; sometimes you are the sharpening steel.  Each fulfills its purpose when placed in the hand of God.  – Luther

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  1. I had not thought of contrary people as iron that is sharpening me. However, I see your point. I see it more of people who hold contrary conclusions. People who agree with my conclusions rarely point out flaws in my reasoning. That is why I try to listen carefully and fully to people who disagree with me.

    Bringing this into the realm of personal relationships is a good idea. At the very least it raises others to a level of value and importance. It also changes my attitude from simply enduring the person until I can escape their presence to welcoming them into my life looking for how the Holy Spirit can mold my life into the image of Jesus.

    I can see this will take more prayer on my part.

    Thanks for the encouragement
    Charlie

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