Have you ever notice how many infomercials there are to sell knives and knife sharpeners? One would think that life cannot be lived without them. I am afraid the knives in my kitchen are quite dull. I realize this can be a hazard. One Christmas I received some steak knives. My daughter was so accustomed to my knives being dull that she pressed too hard and we ended up in the emergency room on New Year’s Day.
Pictured here is the “steeling” method where the edge is realigned and sharpened. There are in fact many different methods in sharpening metal, some for rough sharpening and some for fine sharpening. Regardless of the material or method used, there is pressure, friction and grinding involved. The goal is always to remove unwanted metal to form a new more effective edge.
Our verse for today likens this process of sharpening to relationships. We do grate on each other! Where there are people there are challenging conflicts. It is inevitable. Even a relationship filled with love and mutual respect will have those sharpening moments.
It is in the context of relationship that we face our faults. They surface and resurface as we interact with people. I never realized how selfish I was until I got married and became a mother. I do not realize that I have a problem with anger until someone else provokes it. If I were never in a group of women I may not recognize a tendency to gossip. The answer is not to isolate myself. If I did that my edge would become dull. The answer is the Lord’s help and forgiveness.
Thank you, Lord, for the sharpening quality of relationships to remove in me what does not belong!