We are told in scripture to continually examine ourselves; and if we humbly do so, we will realize that we are absolutely nothing without Christ, we have wicked hearts, and there is NO good in us (aside from Christ Himself). Also as we are deeply warned in scripture not to judge others (as we truly have no place to judge anybody); we should wind up seeing ourselves as the chief of sinners. I know I certainly do. So .. at what point is it appropriate to correct one another (as fellow believers)? Where is that fine line? We are told to ‘sharpen’ one another; however if we really examine ourselves, are we EVER truly in a position to do so? I would love to hear your thoughts. 🙂
We are told to be careful judging others because we will be judged by the same yardstick that we use to judge others. Good, so take a look at the judging that would bless you if others did it for you. Would it be helpful if others pointed out that you are living life apart from God’s principles and that you won’t like the results? Perhaps they could provoke you to righteousness by holding you accountable for memorizing and applying the word to your life. Rebuke a wise man and he will be wiser still. This week I asked my boss to bless me by taking of his valuable time and coming and helping me see where I need to improve my dictating and computer skills.
So, first, we need to be people who see warning and feedback as a blessing not a put down. I find that I also want the criticizer to make a suggestion as to how I might improve.
Then we will be in a position of one beggar telling another beggar where we found food. We may point the other to the same source of comfort and teaching that we have found. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who giveth to all men liberaly and upbraideth not and it shall be given him.”
The friend sharpening iron refers to, well, friends.
So, if others see your progress and humble openness and ask for feedback the share your own struggle and process and how God is working in you. If a friend wants to give and receive ideas in a humble sharing of each’s understanding of God’s word practically applied to life’s struggles-then go ahead and share. If we all wait till we have mastered the Christian life before we share with others than there will be no sharing.