Sharpeners And Sharpenees
Forgive me for making up a word.
Proverbs 27:17: Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
General MacArthur wisely said that we must be good followers before we can be good leaders. All believers need to be sharpened spiritually and in varying degrees all believers should be spiritual sharpeners. When believers are not willing to be sharpened by other believers, they will not be sharp enough to sharpen others. And, of course, the most important sharpening comes from the Holy Spirit who is our teacher and the Bible which is our text book. Those who are unwilling to be sharpened have a problem with pride. Those who are willing to be sharpened have the wonderful characteristic of humility. When we are spiritually sharp, we will recognize when another believer comes along who is sharper than we are and we will want him to sharpen us and we will permit him to do that. When another believer comes along that we can sharpen we will do that for him. Most believers who do not think they need to be sharpened or that they are better sharpeners than anyone else will manifest that by staying away from Biblical churches. They reject the sharpening of others. They will almost never be sharp enough to sharpen others. They will be like Diotrephes.
3 John 1:9: I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not.
Those who love to have the preeminence will actually be seeking something that rightly belongs to Jesus alone.
Colossians 1:18: And he (Jesus) is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.
If Jesus has the preeminence in your life, you will be delighted with those He sends into your life to sharpen you and, unlike Diotrephes, you will receive them. I would liken the word sharpeneth in the book of Proverbs to the word edifying in the New Testament.
1 Corinthians 14:26: How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto edifying.
2 Corinthians 12:19: Again, think ye that we excuse ourselves unto you? we speak before God in Christ: but we do all things, dearly beloved, for your edifying.
Ephesians 4:16: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Care to discuss Sharpeners And Sharpenees with Ron?