I Chronicles 29:11 "Thine, O LORD, is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty:for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O LORD, and thou art exalted as head above all."

Friday, September 18, 2009

Iron Sharpeneth Iron

Before I get into my topic for today, I just wanted to give a shout-out to Guide to Art Schools for featuring my Paint.NET tutorials as a link on their site. How cool is that? I'm thinking of adding some others, and a handy button on the sidebar for easy access to them all. So keep your eye out for that. Neat-o!!

Now for the topic at hand.

Proverbs 27:17
"Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend."

Since posting about the modesty issue, a good friend and I have had some pretty frank discussions about the whole issue. And I love that. I love that I have a friend who is not afraid to broach the subject from a different perspective and teach me something.

This may shock you, but I don't know everything.

I know, take a moment to process that and come to terms with the truth.

[end sarcasm]

The verse I quoted from Proverbs is so important to me in my Christian walk. Why? Well, because I am programmed with my own personal life experiences, and see things from a certain perspective. When I come to an issue that many mature Christians would define as "basic", I only see the part of the issue that I've dealt with in my personal life. I can only understand my own feelings on it, because that's what I know.

Let's take for example the modesty issue. I see it as an easy issue, because I grew up in church, lived in a small town that respected the Bible and church, and because my parents lovingly taught me the truth without rejecting me for failing, or making a mistake.

My friend had a different experience in her life. She was saved later on, did not grow up in a loving Christian home or have a father who showed her unconditional love. Therefore she looked for genuine love in ways that were not God's best. Modesty was not an easy issue for her, because of how she grew up. Her life experience was vastly different from mine.

There are still others who had basically the same experience as me growing up, but who have been rejected by the church for their failure to conform to the accepted standard, or who have been turned off by someone acting in self-righteousness instead of Christian love.

Can we deal with every person mentioned above in the same way? Do all those people have the same idea of who God is, based on how others have (or have not) loved them? Obviously not. If the way I minister and reach out to others is based solely on my own life experiences, I will (unintentionally) wound and discourage others because I don't know where they are coming from.

Before my discussion with my friend, I would never have thought of that. I don't understand what it's like to not be genuinely loved by my family. I have never been rejected by people at church, because my personality is strongly geared toward pleasing others and having them like me. So I end up complying just so I can fit in, which is as dangerous as open rebellion.

There are women out there who love the Lord, do great things in His name, but would be rejected by people in the church because they do not conform to one dress standard or another. (Or any other standard for that matter.) Have I taken the time to get to know that person and see where they are coming from? Or have I analyzed things from my own perspective and passed judgment based on what my own heart issues would be if I behaved similarly?

I am not saying I was wrong for writing about the issue. I am not apologizing or retracting my beliefs on how a woman should conduct herself and dress. I have simply learned that when dealing with people we need to look at more than the issue that is surfacing. My friend, who shared her thoughts with me has learned something too.

That's why this 'iron sharpeneth iron' thing is so important. We can always learn from other people, and if we are in tune with the Lord, we won't get bent out of shape when others disagree with us, or want to expose us to something we may not have previously thought of.

Psalm 119:165
"Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them."

Does this mean that I won't be offended by sin? No, because it should offend the Spirit within me. Rather it means that I am so in love with the law of God (His Word and pleasing Him) that when another brother or sister approaches me with a different perspective, or a reproof, I will not be offended. I will hear them out because I want to please the Lord above all else.

Sometimes the Lord stretches us and our way of thinking because it is what's most beneficial to the body of Christ. It will edify others if I try to think of things from their perspective, and really pray for wisdom and the leading of the Spirit before acting on the desire to confront.

Just wanted to share another thing the Lord has been showing me.

And E?

You're clutch.


  • WendyMom

    Jules- you're right. So right.

    It can be so easy to forget about the love- and yet, we ARE called to be discerning and above reproach.

    Thanks for all the thoughts and care you put into this issue- you know I love you girl!

  • Giovanna

    I agree with you that we can overlook things sometimes and see things only from our side.
    We should try to never be judgmental of others just because they are not "conforming" as quickly as "we" would like.

    On the other hand, I am like your friend, in the regards that my biological parents could care less for me and my life experiences have been harsh up until about 10 years ago. I was not raised in church either but once I got saved and spent time with the Lord I was conformed by Him quite quickly and willingly. I believe the key word there is willingly. I know each person's walk is a different speed with the Lord but you would be surprised how quickly the Lord can change your mind on things the more time you spend with Him. Some people want to hold onto their past to keep them from advancing to their future with the Lord because they still like their sin. Vanity is a fun sin for many. I have seen this MANY times with different girls and women in the church and when we speak about it, it all comes down to a lack of time with the Lord and a willingness to hold on to that one favorite sin. What is surprising though, they all have known what they are wearing is wrong but choose to use their free will in regards to it.

  • Erin

    Clutch? Now, that's a great word! You be clutch too lady. I love that you're my iron! You make me better!

  • JulieMom

    I agree that at some point there comes a time for personal responsibility and realizing that sin cannot continue.

    My point in the post was that I have learned to think twice before assuming the person A) Knows they are wrong. B) Knows why they are wrong. C) Is ready to get right.

    Because regardless of how much we say it, until the Lord starts to change the heart, it will be fruitless.

    But I agree, Giovanna, that the more time we spend with Him, the easier it is to see our faults and change them.

    Good thoughts everyone!

  • WendyMom

    Well, since Erin outed herself as the "clutch" friend- I will second that statement! I didn't want to give any clues that I knew who it was without E's consent....

    You both are great friends and I love you like sisters...the good kind....

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