Do you think sometimes maybe iron can also dull iron?
Definitely in the past year, I've been being sharpened all over the place by various wonderful people. And for anyone who thinks the internet is a waste of time, well, you're right except sometimes it is useful. In the instance of Benj's blog, for example. I find all sorts of things to consider when I go there.
But I wonder... do you think maybe sometimes people who are more knowledgeable than ourselves are able to scratch so much that we are dulled into believing everything they say? In some circles I feel like I know a lot-- I can quote Scripture on many different topics. I know what I'm talking about sometimes. But when I get around other Christians who know far more than me, I find I sort of just take their word for it. I believe we are all trying to sharpen one another with the knowledge of the Scripture that we have, the knowledge that the Holy Spirit has imparted to each of us. Yet... perhaps I know something, believe something, have felt these things confirmed in my spirit-- particularly things that are not mentioned in the Bible-- and then someone more advanced in his spiritual journey comes along and says these things aren't true in a very authoritative manner? What does that do to me? Neither of us can back our beliefs 100% if it is not literally mentioned in Scripture... but say he is more intellectual, or has better argumentation skills, than me; and that leaves me, well, dulled.
Do you see what I mean?
Take the topic of "swear words."
Need I say more?
Who is to say what is right about that? There are verses that say some things that are relatable and verses that say other things relatable. If I feel that swearing is really wrong, and someone more savvy comes along and says its fine, and I can't necessarily argue with him, then I am left in a query. I could easily stumble at that point. I could become dulled to a conviction within myself.
Or on a subject even more obtuse, worship songs.
This has come up in so many conversations lately (and blogs). I don't know what to think. There are many different kinds of worship songs and many different things to say about them. I have my own opinions (which I feel have been sharpened by conversation, gratefully, as opposed to dulled) but sometimes, I feel like I am inadequate in defending my case-- because I am a young Christian, because I am not a great arguer, because I did not go to seminary...
I don't really have much of a point. Except maybe we should be careful when working to sharpen one another that we do not dull each other instead and conform each other to our own personal understanding and revelation of the Scripture. How to do that, I don't know. But it's something to watch.
And heck, while I'm at it, here is a sneak peak at a poem I wrote. (It's not one of my best or favorite. But it regards this point.)
As Iron Sharpens Iron
In a dark and sullied work shed
lined with feathered wood shelves
and splintered work benches
I am the pointed,
red-rusted fire poker
hanging across two dirty nails,
and you are the sharpening stone.
You scrape my dullness
to a point, you scratch my jagged
edges smooth. I keep you strong
and make you stronger,
while you work away to make me sharp.
We are in the one work shed,
we are purchased at the same store,
without one another we are nothing.