Proverbs 27:17: "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."
For those that have a favorite knife for food preparation: If the blade is dull and needs to be sharpened, a sharpener is used. The sharpener is often a hardened metal with a course finish that can restore the sharp edge to the cutlery instrument.
Sometimes a friend [someone who has our interest at heart] may confront us with an issue that is difficult or delicate to discuss. The words presented may be rough, they may scrape us the wrong way, we may not agree.
This friend tries their best to explain their perspective of the issue at hand. Could it be that the friend's words open our eyes to a clearer understanding? Or, could the friend misunderstand our intent or reasons and as such take the issue in a wrong intent; hence, both can benefit from the discussion, thereby strengthening the friendship.
The caution is to give the benefit of listening without contention and be willing to discuss the issue honestly with a friend. The duller the edge the rougher the sharpening process.
This Proverb includes all the issues of life that may result in a keen edge when making decisions, taking action, beginning relationships, accepting commitments.... In the hands of a true friend the conversation has the potential to sharpen our understanding.
This article has undergone ministry review and approval.