Friends are great for making us feel good. And if you have any non-Christian friends like I do, their comments and compliments can even make us feel more acceptable in the secular world. The problem is they’ve only succeed in deceiving us.
While their flattery and worldly point-of-view are enticing, something is amiss. Do they bring peace and contentment to your conversation? Do they draw from your value and strengths? Or do they tend to minimize your Godly views and instead lead you into their way of thinking? If our friends are foolish, intent on leading us away from Christ and towards an unhealthy lifestyle (even seemingly innocent things like gossip or selfish ambition), how can this sharpen us?
Our strength becomes weak and shallow, to where if we don’t find the strength we need, we blend in with the rest of the world. Our salt has lost its saltiness. If iron sharpens iron, then encouragement encourages the one seeking it, and love creates Christ-like love. Righteous living exemplifies and insures that we stay on track to help others, feed the poor, aid the widows and love our neighbor.
There is nothing more crucial or more beneficial to a successful walk with Christ than having friends and family who keep us strong. And not just a strength that helps us in our weaknesses, but one that helps us to maintain a straight path, pure speech and a righteous heart.
Do you have friends who sharpen and strengthen you and help to minimize your weaknesses? Does your family bring out the good within you? Are you sharpening your friends with the spiritual sword of iron? Be one who sharpens others and find those who sharpen you.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
– Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)
“Lord, we all need friends who help strengthen us. Help me to be that kind of friend! Thank You that You are always here for me not only to be an example of what I need to be, but as the best kind of friend there is….”