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Jump-Start Your Day

Tuesday, December 5th, '17

All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson

 

FRICTION

"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend" (Proverbs 27:17)

 

Where did David find his five smooth stones? In the bottom of the brook. Decades of rubbing and bumping against other stones wore off the rough edge to make projectiles that the shepherd boy took into the battle with him against Goliath. We all have rough edges needing sanding, and the way the sanding usually takes place is in the brook of relationships. We spend most of our lives trying to avoid friction when friction is the very thing that perfects us. It's the friction on car tread that propels you down the street. It's the abrasive that scours the lime off the shower. The axe blade is honed by the whetstone or as Solomon put it, "Iron sharpens iron". The first grindstone a person meets is family life. Yes, home is a safety refuge, a place of love and all that, but one of its main purposes is to provide a boxing ring for interpersonal edge-smoothing. With five brothers and a sister, as a child I got humbled, exposed, sat on, tattled against, cheated, made fun of, beat out, beat up and everything else one can think of, all in the name of let's all get along. The only-child doesn't quite have the same maturing benefits as the middle-child.

 

The next house of friction is school, elementary all the way of to college. We don't get to live in a bubble even though the psychologists are trying to create friction-free classrooms. The Jackson boys had to face the music when we got Ds or Fs. Our teams didn't always tie. There were winners and losers. Sometimes we went home crying but that was as important a part of the curricula as was Arithmetic and Spelling. And now fully grown physically, God must not think we're fully grown spiritually, because He still allows friction down at the office or factory. We can groan or we can grow; our choice. Someone said, "If that rubs your fur the wrong way, turn around!" Notice, as iron sharpens iron, friend sharpens friend. Those people really are your friends. They are not out to get you. They are just being used by the Lord to make you sharp and effective.

 

Of course marriage offers the most potential friction, but also the most potential growth. Solomon, the "been there, done that" guy, wrote, "A constant dripping on a rainy day and a cranky woman are much alike..." (Proverbs 27:15) That took guts to write. But notice; that verse is positioned two verses before our text about iron sharpening iron. No matter how much you love him or her you're going to rub each other raw at times. God figured friction into the one flesh equation. She/he is the key to your character. Tribulation works patience (Romans 5:3). James said, "Let patience have her perfect work..." (James 1:4) Did you see that King Jamesism, "her"? The ladies are probably hunting a translation that says, "Let patience have his perfect work". And if it's not the spouse that is the patience tester then it will be the kids, the in-laws or the neighbor's dog. No one can escape friction except lily-skinned debutantes in king's palaces and see what that does for them. So welcome due criticism. Acknowledge the rough edges. Let God do what He's got to do and when the tests are over you'll be the better person in spite of the harsh treatment. Now, that doesn't mean you as a spouse have a divine calling to be God's sandpaper but it does mean that when you give it, you can expect to take it too. "But, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in him in all things" (Ephesians 4:15), and it's obvious this growing up business is taking a long time. Now, there will be more enjoyable devotions tomorrow and after, but that is the way life works. Smile.


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