If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.
As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Think for a moment about the people in your life that you call friends. What is it about them that makes them friends, instead of just some person you know? It might be because you share an interest, hunting, shopping, technology, or music. It could be the phase of life you are in, a fellow Mom, empty nesters, fellow graduate school students, etc. As we read scripture, we hear another definition of what a friend is supposed to be.
In proverbs we hear that a friend is someone who sharpens you. Someone who makes you a better person, someone who might push you to become something more, or even something better. Jesus talks about the importance of how we are supposed to talk with one another and handle conflict and challenges. Jesus models a direct confrontation of conflict, go and talk to the person just 1 on 1. In each case we are called to make one another better, and to hold one another accountable; something that is incredibly hard, or at least scary for most people to do, but if you have ever had someone like that in your life, you realize the value. A friend like this tells you things that no one else would, because they love you. They push you to be a better parent, partner, employee, and follower of Christ. They love you so much they will have a hard conversation, knowing how important and impactful it will be; and equally how negative it would impact you to not have it.
Do you have friends like this in your life? The bible makes it clear that we need people like that. People who sharpen us, who are honest with us, and who encourage us to grow daily in our relationship with God and others.
- Do you have a friend like in Proverbs or Matthew in your life? Who could be a friend like that for you?
- What can be challenges to being in relationships like this?
- Can you think of a time that you could have used a friend like this?