Matthew 12:22-50; Leviticus 15-16; Proverbs 27
I grew up in a family, and with friends, where we could argue ideas for hours. We would express opinions and those who didn’t understand would think we hated each other. We didn’t. We respected our friendship enough that we could disagree and still listen to the other person. More than a couple of people have been upset when they witnessed these discussions. “As iron sharpens iron, so friends sharpen each other’s faces.” (Proverbs 27:17) We may not have read this verse growing up, but we lived it. Today we live in a time where we are supposed to have friends who all think alike and act alike. If someone disagrees with us, we block them or “unfriend” them. We are so worried about offending others, that we avoid speaking the truth, whether it be about one’s hair color or about God’s plan for their lives. If they say, “Happy Holidays” instead of “Merry Christmas” we view them with suspicion. We don’t mention sin, righteousness or judgment, the very things the Holy Spirit came to convict us about, for fear of causing offense. We don’t understand what relationships really are, anymore. We’ve lost that sense of relationship, not only with others, but also with God. We need to open ourselves to criticism. We need to be ready to let God speak through others to make us stronger people. Let your lives be sharpened by the iron of your real friends.
Lord God, it is so easy to surround myself with people who always agree with me. Help me to be correctable. Let me be willing to listen to opinions that are different than mine and always let me be willing to change when I am wrong.