Proverbs 27:17--"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another"
Yesterday, we shared dinner and fellowship with our dear friends, Zack and Sara. Over the past several years, I have come to love them. We share a relationship wherein we can, and often do, discuss hard topics. Last night, in typical fashion, we stayed on the surface briefly, but then proceeded into deeper spiritual waters. Our questions challenged each other, encouraging mutual growth. I find the persistent thoughts and questions I have after they leave to be particularly beneficial. I believe they help me to be a stronger Christian.
Relationships like these are important for Christians. We may enjoy superficial conversation from time to time, but it is the intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually challenging topics that sharpen us. When pointed exhortations proceed from acquaintances, they are often perceived as judgmental, but in relationships founded on trust and mutual respect, there is exceptional opportunity for growth. I am thankful to be a part of a small group and a church where I have more of these relationship than I deserve.
Matthew 18:20--For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.