27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
In Proverbs we find this verse. It is the picture of how we are shaped and formed into who we are. We are built to be in communion, equipping one another, and pushing each other on towards growth. However, the process in which iron is used to sharpen iron is not the easiest or cleanest process. A dull piece of iron is placed on an anvil and struck repeatedly with another piece of iron. Shards of the piece being sharpened are knocked off with great force. Whittling down one to make it useful. That is how our sharpening of one another can be at times.
Our normal response when someone begins to whittle away at our life is to become defensive and attempt to avoid any loss. However, this is the process which makes us more useful. At a time we are but an iron rod, only filled with potential. No specific value but much potential. As we allow others to sharpen us (whether they are intentional or not) it produces in us great value. It takes us from being just material into being a great tool used for grand accomplishments.
Do not allow Satan to draw you toward weariness. The iron does not plan on entering into the furnace. It does not anticipate being beaten and losing pieces that it has always had! However that is the process which makes it far more than it ever was.
Yes life includes pruning of the things you may find dear. However, this is the process! Do not turn your back on being involved with one another simply because you have been hurt. We need each other so that we can be shaped into the most useful tool possible. It may be discouraging but this is what we are here for!
God as I prepare my heart for worship tomorrow please remind me of these truths. Help me to not devalue other people because of how they effect my life. Keep me from focusing on the pain involved in being shaped and instead focus on the accomplishment. Thank You for molding me and growing me. I pray I stay appreciative. Amen.
This is a good analogy and I could spend quite a few more paragraphs expounding on it. Use this to discuss it with a close friend. Explore all of the ways you can compare a sword being sharpened to how we sharpen each other.