17 As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)
The message of the above verse is clear. Apart from God, we need each other. God expects us to be in contact to encourage each other and propel each other toward greater heights. The keyword here is “sharpen” implies efficiency and effectiveness. A sharpened knife can cut things faster and with lesser effort. We can do more with a sharper knife. Likewise for our personal lives. We need to be sharpened regularly and we do it through mutual encouragement.
Lately I have received quite a number of encouragements from the readers of this blog. I am grateful for them all. These encouragements have sharpened me to write more articles to encourage more people. This has become a virtuous cycle. Basically we need to sharpen one another.
However, I would like to point out some pitfalls in this business of sharpening.
First, sharpening refers to helping each other to move up, not down. Gossiping about other people and taking negative are not sharpening each other. This is something we should look out for. Many people, including carnal Christians like to get together to talk negative and sometimes they call it fellowship. If you join such fellowship you will not become sharper. Instead you will become blunt. Positive words encourage. Negative words discourage. We have to guard our minds at all times. Choose your fellowship carefully.
Secondly, we have to prepare to give as well as to receive. The above verse says a friend sharpens a friend. It does not mention which friend sharpens which. So, it has to be mutual. Sometimes you can be so discouraged that you can only receive. That is all right, but don’t make that permanent. Jesus himself said that it is more blessed to give than to receive. When you give you receive more. This is also known as the Law of Sowing and Reaping.
Take full advantage of what you have received and move to the next level of giving. Giving is important because as you encourage others, you will be encouraged yourself. This is one area that the Law of Sowing and Reaping works immediately. I have experienced that myself. The more I encourage others in this blog, the more encouraged I become. In fact, I learn more about the Bible by teaching it through this blog that listening to sermons.
Recently, I have started another blog of the science of getting rich. I find myself knowing more about it after I share my knowledge to others. So, if you want to expand your knowledge about anything, share what you have. That is your role. The Law of Sowing and Reaping will do its part.
Thirdly, you have to do some preparation work for the sharpening works to be effective. Get rid of negative thoughts as much as you can in order to help you to absorb the positive words from others. In the past, I allowed free access to this blog. The worshippers of doctrines took advantage of my liberal policy to propagate their doctrines and when they failed, they started to hurl their insults and vulgarities. I made a mistake of trying to show them the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, which had only resulted to more abuses. Finally I have decided to ex-communicate them by changing the settings for comments. Now that this blog is free from abuses and vulgarities, I receive more encouragements from fellow Christians.
Fourth, there is also follow up works. After listening to some positive words from other Christians, you have to put them to work. Positive words are useless if you don’t put them to work. It is like building a house on loose sand. The moment storm comes, your entire house will be washed away. Sharpening begins with words but it has to continue through actions.
In conclusion, we need to sharpen each other to achieve greater prosperity in life. Thank God for the internet.