As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17 NKJV
Sharpening begins with a tool hard enough to wear down the imperfections that have dulled the blade of a knife. It reminds me a little of a bunk bed building project for underprivileged children where I recently spent two hours sanding 2 by 4’s. Smoothing down those scrapes and gouges reminded how God has used friends to wear off some of the roughness in my own life.
“You’re just an expert on everything!” my boss Al said sarcastically one day, as he threw up his hands in disgust. His words stung because they were true. Because we moved a lot when I was a kid I tried being smarter or at least cool enough to be accepted by others. Without my being aware of it this left me a bit of a know-it-all until that day when Al pointed it out. As much as his words hurt, they started me on the path that I needed towards change.
None of us much like criticism but that is the first step that God uses to sharpen us. But we hold the key to how things turn out in our hands. We can get angry and reject any kind of correction from others or we can allow God to put to take off our rough edges. Correction hurts but if we allow it, God will sharpen us and restore us to the purpose for which we are made. We have a decision to make. We can remain dull or we can allow our Father’s hand to sharpen us for His use.