By Marni Montanez
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
This is one of those verses you love and hate at the same time because it sounds good but is about severing the flesh from our character.
What is our “flesh” you might ask. Well, it is the part that doesn’t want to do what is best, and wants it’s way In some area of our life. It is the part that says yes to anything that will keep it comfortable and no to anything that challenges it to grow.
I used to say this to my friends all the time and yet I don’t think I understood the fullness of its meaning until the sharp blade of a friend’s tongue pierced through my flesh. “Ouch”. These were words I needed to hear and a challenge I needed to undertake, but my flesh, my poor flesh had to endure the cutting. Yikes! But the truth is this is the heart of a true friend; A heart that will speak to you in such a way that will cause discomfort and even pain to your carnal covering.
It is a risk to speak to someone with such blatant honesty and precise cutting into a fleshly soul. This is a heart I can trust. At the time when we are being confronted it is painful and hard. The offense has reared its ugly head, but the effects of it are life changing and bring on a growth that would not otherwise take place had it not been for the caring direction of a friend.
Even though these times are offensive and cause me to react with behavior unbecoming to a Christian, little by little I have experienced the true freedom and healing that comes from a wise confrontation.
Our carnal or sin nature will always act unfavorably to a rebuke. It wants to remain in its own self-centered fetal position where growth and change cannot touch it. It will reject all suggestions toward putting it to death, and will fight to stay alive and active in our lives.
But, you who say you are spiritual, where is your flesh or carnal nature? Is it ruling your lives? There is no doubt it will come against your spirit and it even says in the word that our spirit and flesh war.
Why? It’s because our flesh wants to maintain that power over our spirit. This is a choice that we have. It is painful to grow, and if we keep making decisions based on our feelings we will remain spiritually dead and since God is spirit how can we have a relationship with Him?
Our relationship is so important to God that He died for a relationship with us. This is why He sends people into our lives that will be like iron sharpening us. They are one of the many tools God uses to pierce our flesh and make an opening for our spirit to be freed from carnal bondage.
My challenge is for you to ask of the Lord to show you the areas where your flesh (carnal or sinful nature) rules over your spirit.
The purpose of this series is to encourage people to live as loving, compassionate, and peacemaking children of God: Jesus tells us to pray, "Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) God tells us through Micah (6:8), "He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God." And we know from Revelation 21:4 that there will be no more mourning, or crying, or pain, or death. Thus, Christian living requires us to set the standards of these conditions here on earth for our fellow human beings, and for the other animals, as a witness to the rest of the world. To do otherwise is not Christian.