Sparks Will Fly

Tim Savage

As iron sharpens iron,so a friend sharpens a friend. Proverbs 27:17 
Great friends sometimes need to ask the tough questions and scrape against each other in order to make each other better. I recently needed to be a good friend by sitting down and talking with someone that I care deeply about, but who needed some tough love. It wasn’t the most pleasant conversation and certainly not the easiest, but we both agreed that it was necessary and God’s will to handle it that way. When I think of iron sharpening iron I see hot fire and red steel and hammers pounding and sparks flying. Steel can’t be sharpened by wood or softer materials and in the same way Christian brothers and sisters won’t be trained to be spiritual warriors by tolerance and compromise. It takes each of us looking out for the other and stepping in for correction when necessary. One of the tougest lessons I learned when stepping in to ministry leadership is the need for gracious confrontation. No one wants to be the bad guy, no one wants to talk about things that are uncomfortable or awkward, but if we don’t step in to help our brothers and sisters, who will? Although I was a hard lesson to learn, God has always honored my efforts. Each and every time I graciously confronted someone, they appreciated the honest feedback. I have also learned to accept constructive criticism as a means to sharpen and improve. 
I must continue to sharpen others when it’s appropriate or needed and I must also be open to be sharpened. Only people who really care about you will take the time and effort to try to help and I must either be someone who cares deeply for others or can recognize that someone offering me feedback care about me. The fire may be hot, we might get pounded and sparks may fly, but we will need sharp swords in the finals days to combat the enemy. 
Dear Heavenly Father, I ask for a heart to sharpen others. I ask for Your power in gracious confrontation. I also ask that You grant me the strength and peace that comes from accepting constructive criticism, may it make me better, not bitter. In Jesus name, Amen 

Devotions for June 03

Proverbs 25,26,27
Romans 15

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