I had a large handful of blogs in my inbox this morning, but three of them talked about being real. They were all very different, but the bottom line was individual situations need individual responses, not a one size fits all response. As I sat here without clear direction about what to write that thought came back to me along with a verse that is often quoted and somehow seems to fit right in here.
In the same way that iron sharpens iron,
a person sharpens the character of his friend.
I’ve heard that verse quoted a lot, usually about staying around people who keep you true. People who are god-filled and push you onwards. There’s always an element of challenge in it – or maybe that’s just me.
But what about friends who support you and when you are feeling down help keep you sharp by taking the blows that would blunt you? I was using the Blue Letter Bible to do a bit of exploring of this verse. The word sharpens can also mean to be alert and the word character can mean face – as in direction. Maybe I am reaching but this verse as well as meaning that we spur each other on to greater deeds by setting example could also mean we are aware of what our brother needs and offer protection and comfort when it’s hard.
That’s what being real means. It’s at times giving a hard word and at other times weeping alongside. It is being sensitive to what the Holy Spirit is saying so that we say and do the right things at the right time, not just the same thing all the time because that’s the way it’s done.
We are a body, one body. I don’t know about you, but someone who never takes the time to listen, really listen and understand what I am going through but who just quotes verses at me is annoying. Sometimes I don’t need a verse I need a hug. Other times I most certainly do need a verse to remind me of who I am. It’s the right word (or action) at the right time that counts.
One of the blogs said: laugh and the church laughs with you, cry and you cry alone. How sad a testimony of our body is that? I don’t want that to be said about me by anyone let alone my brothers or sisters in Christ.