Verse of the Day and Devotional 4-11-2024

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Verse of the Day

by Bible League International,

Narrated by Artificial Intelligence – Andrew,

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As one piece of iron sharpens another, so friends keep each other sharp. – Proverbs 27:17 ERV


The analogy in our verse of the day is that just as an iron tool can be made sharp and fit for use by honing it against another iron tool, so likewise can friends keep one another sharp and fit for life in general by critically interacting with one another. The idea is that people are better off with friends that point out their faults than with friends who do not point out such things at all.

This Proverb is not a contradiction of Jesus’ admonition, “Don’t judge others, and God will not judge you. If you judge others, you will be judged the same way you judge them. God will treat you the same way you treat others” (Matthew 7:1-2). This is because the sharpening that occurs between friends is understood here as a positive interaction that improves each one for life, but judgement is negative in nature and does not lead to that kind of improvement. Sharpening builds people up; judgment tears them down.

Since sharpening is to be understood in a positive sense, then we should expect such interaction with our friends, and we should be willing to accept it. The person who is constantly on the defensive and unwilling to receive any sharpening from friends will not receive the benefit of the interaction.

At the same time, since the sharpening is positive in nature, we should not be afraid to give positive feedback to our friends. The person who is unwilling to sharpen friends will not be much of a friend in the long run. Who wants friends that never challenge us or question us?

The similarity between sharpening and condemnation means that one must be careful not to allow their critical interactions with friends to become condemnation. If a friend is unwilling to receive critical feedback, then it might be wise to back off in order to preserve the friendship. When it comes to critical interactions with friends, prudence is called for, as it is everywhere else in a Christian’s life.

Today, ask the Lord for the prudence necessary to be a good friend.

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