Sunday, July 17, 2016
Blacksmith or Bully......
I've been bothered recently.
This started a few days ago. I was with a friend, and we were searching for something....a rental property to be exact.
We were sitting in my mom van, and she said...'oh, we haven't prayed together yet. Let's pray."
so I pulled my van over and we prayed. (We ended up driving a block, and seeing a sign that led us to the man, who rented us a house...but that's a story for another time)
Now, I pray a lot, don't get me wrong....but it's usually just a running conversation in my head with Jesus. I forget, frequently to invite other's into the ongoing back and forth of our gabfest. Its not wrong. I could just do it better.
And I told her that. I can do this better. And then I told her that I appreciate the fact that I was spiritually growing with her beside me, and it wasn't anything harsh that was said, to make me re-examine my christianity, just two believers, journeying together. I felt grateful in that moment.
As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17
This verse has bothered me for years. I don't believe that I have ever heard it used in the tone and intent of what it should be.
The truth is, I have only heard this verse, come out of the mouths of christian bully's. The "I think you are doing something wrong...and I don't like it, so I am going to tell you what you are doing wrong...and finish it with the phrase.....iron sharpens iron," guy.
If someone finished a sentence with that phrase, I dismiss everything said previously. I think it is obvious that you are not looking out to grow my relationship with God, but to elevate yourself, the blacksmith of judgement.
This verse is still in the Bible....I can't ignore it. And so, I call my Mallory.
And she hits the nail on the head.......more of a carpenter joke, I guess.
In order to sharpen iron, you need to be a blacksmith. There is a skill involved and it takes time, and training and steadfastness , and the ability to deal with a lot of heat.
In order to become a Master Blacksmith, it takes at least 10 years or more.
First you need to become and apprentice for four or more years. Then your work is judged. If it is deemed good enough, you become a journeyman, and you travel to study and learn with different blacksmiths. This can last from two to five years.....and then your work is judged again. Only then, if you are approved, do you become a blacksmith. After running your own shop, or working in a large organization, you can then apply to be Master Blacksmith. The guild may require you to submit a large project for judgement before you receive the title.
Sharpening iron takes skill. If we let anyone do it....it would just be excessive friction with two pieces of iron being slammed together.....not making much of anything except a lot of ear-splitting noise, and unusable product.
1 Corinthians 13:1
If I speak in the tongue of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
Do you see the correlation?
I am not saying that we are not to correct other brothers and sisters....but I think it needs to be done in a way that is skilled and loving.
He giveth more grace. Do you?
So, are you a Blacksmith, or a Bully?