A good post from "Every Square Inch". Well worth the read of this and its follow up (part 2). This is a subject that has been on my mind lately. I currently don't seem to have a friend like this in my life. Seems to me that every Christian should have a good biblically grounded friendship. Proverbs 27:17 says "As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend." Two things stand out from this verse. 1) Iron upon iron has a mutual effect that both pieces get sharpened. So two both friends grw and encourage one another. 2) The sharpening of the iron does require contact. Sparks will fly. Likewise we need to be willing to generate some friction and sparks in a friendship for there to be a mutual sharpening.
Few of us have the kind of friends that the Bible says that we need. That's because what passes for friendship today is often a cheap imitation of the real thing.
I'd guess that there are all kinds of reasons that meaningful friendship is harder to find in the modern world. There are the usual culprits such as busyness and technology ranging from HD televisions that make everything fun to watch to text messaging.
But I think that there are deeper reasons that are more interesting.
Proverbs 27:6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.According to this verse we often get our friends and enemies confused. Sounds weird doesn't it? Who would be dumb enough to think that their friend is an enemy and their enemy a friend? Well I guess most (or all) of us at one time or another.
According to the book of Proverbs, a true friend will occasionally wound you. Now think about that for just a moment. A wound hurts. It isn't pleasant. It might take some time to recover from. No one wakes up in the morning and says, "I sure hope that I get wounded today!"
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