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Sharpened Friends
by Martin Wiles
09/02/11
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Proverbs 27:17
(used by permission of Christian Devotions) (excerpt from Morning Meditations by Martin Wiles)

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, a friend sharpens a friend. (NLT)

One rule for knife use is never to cut toward you. A second is that a dull knife is not necessarily safer. I cautioned my children about the first rule, and I always preferred they use a dull knife.

In the period of my childhood, it was permissible for a young boy to own a knife. Since I loved knives, I started a collection. A long hunting knife as well as several pocket knives. I made a habit of looking at knives in every store I visited. And I could even take them to school in my pocket or fly on an airplane with them in the same place. I oiled them and kept them free of dirt. Most importantly, I kept them sharpened.

Occasionally, my cousin and I would play chicken on my grandmotherís front porch by dropping our hunting knives-point first, between our spread eagle feet then moving one foot up to the point where the knife stuck. We continued until the closeness of our feet led one of us to chicken out.

I began carrying a knife as a young lad, and at fifty I retain the habit. When dressing in the morning, my knife is a standard feature for my pocket just as keys and fingernail clippers are. I may not need it often, but when I do itís there. Itís like a trusted friend who performs well when available and sharp.

By the very nature of the term, friendships should be beneficial and will be when time and a good cutting edge are present. Friends sharpen other friends. My friends make me a better person.

True friends hold each other accountable for their behavior. When a genuine friend views another friend traveling a destructive path, they will confront because they care. Offers of help will flow when friends see each other experiencing financial challenges or struggling with difficult decisions. Friends will stretch my mental capabilities by helping me view ideas with greater clarity. An authentic friend may attack my ideas, attitudes or actions but they will never attack me. And that parrots the mindset of our best friend-God.

Prayer: God, as we have been sharpened by others so enable us to sharpen the lives of our friends. www.lovelinesfromgod.blogspot.com

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