Let’s explore a new writing proverb this week. This one extends far beyond our writing endeavors.
Proverbs 27:17 (VOICE) tells us “In the same way that iron sharpens iron, a person sharpens the character of his friend.”
Is there someone who can speak into your life with honesty and in love? Who is free to speak more than ego-stroking compliments? Is there someone you trust enough to be vulnerable with, to receive with an open heart and mind, their observations and their wisdom?
I am blessed to have a few people who can do this. First and foremost is my wife. I know she speaks wisely and in love. I know she hears from God.
Second, is my best friend who can be blunt and challenging. He won’t let me settle for anything less than what God has called me to do. He is also full of the love of God and speaks this love into my life.
I also have writing friends who sharpen my iron. And not just in my writing. Our friendship goes far beyond our writing. We share hopes and dreams, and pains and frustration. We pray with and for each other, challenge, advise, and encourage one another to be not only the best writers we can be, but to be the best people we can be—living to bless our families, our churches, and all those we come in contact with.
These friends do not step into these roles the first day we meet them.
How do we find these iron sharpeners? With prayer and patience. Pray God brings such a person into your life. And practice the patience it takes to develop the relationship to one of open and honest trust.
Think of your relationship with your spouse or your best friend. Remember the time spent just getting to know them. Remember the first tentative steps of opening up to them. Remember the readiness to shut down at the first sign they weren’t receptive.
We go through the same process with our iron sharpener.
My final thought—we all need iron sharpening relationships. Don’t think you don’t. God works through people, people to help us fulfill his call on our lives.
Okay. My final, final thought—we sharpen them as much as they sharpen us. It is not a one-sided relationship. It is a friendship deeper than any other. One to be valued and treasured. One to sacrifice for.
Who in your life is the person sharpens your iron? If you can’t think of one, pray for God to reveal that person to you.