Once again, here I am talking about people that help us to draw closer to the Lord and His ways. If a relationship is distancing you from God, then you must cut that relationship off immediately! The Bible is full of examples of people that engaged in ungodly relationships and paid a dreadful price for it. The pursuit of loving God above all things is above any relationship. However, this three part series is about us welcoming real Godly relationships into our lives. As you will see in this series, a relationship is not an option, it’s a mandate.
The word “tested” is defined as, “an often difficult situation or event that will provide information about somebody or something.” A difficult situation, or what I like to call a conflict, will eventually provide us with the knowledge of something about that person we are engaging in a conflict with. Proverbs 27:6 tells us that “Faithful are the wounds of a friend…” The word “wounds” means, “pain or sorrow.” The connotation here is not meant to be negative. A friend, because of his closeness to our hearts, his imperfect human condition and because they are the ones that tells us what we don’t want to hear at times, is in an ideal position to cause us pain. The reality is that if you are serious about developing a Godly relationship with anyone, we must have a prepared attitude to accept the certainty that conflicts will come. The blessing comes after we make up our minds to continue to pursue this relationship. The Bible also gives us a perfect mental picture on how these relationships evolve in Proverbs 27:17
“As iron sharpens iron,
so one man sharpens another.”
The word “sharpens” means, “to keener; to pierce.” The word “keener” means, “delicately tuned and able to sense minor differences, distinctions, or details.” In other words, we become sensitive to even minor differences among us. We now know each other that much. The word “pierce” is the reason we all run away from relationships; it means, “To penetrate through or into something with a sharp pointed object.” Ouch!
Developing relationships is never easy. The picture of iron sharpening iron is not necessarily a pretty one, but at the end; just as iron, we become better and more useful. Are you rough on the edges? Maybe you need a little sharpening in your life!