I woke up this morning thinking about this subject after requesting Dr. Bob to ghost post for me on http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=54906&highlight=forgiving To give you some background... I had Said: And Salamander asked a very reasonable question: I answered Salamander by private This way: So, after waking up at 0330 with this topic on my mind... I finally dragged myself out of bed and scribbled a few notes, got a cup of tea and sat down to build this post. First, after a ten hour day at work I wasn't all that clear as to whether I had included friends in quotes in my original post. I had. So, how do I think about the general useage of "As Iron Sharpens Iron"? Generally I think it gets abused. Here's why. First, Iron is strong it has strength. Therefore, when Iron sharpens Iron it is from mutually understood strengths. One strength adding it's strength to anothers for mutual benefit. Second, There is Sharpness. We're actually using the analogy of two Swords with keen edges each having had some part of its edge rolled over or otherwise blunted in battle, mutually being used to restore the edge to each other for return to service. Third, This is edge to edge. No gut cuts. The actions are not intended to destroy but to restore or mend a blunted blade with the intent of a return to service. Fourth, if you've tried this yourself, you'll know that it takes an expert to sharpen iron with iron without doing more damage to the blades. So, a quoted "friend" is not a True Friend, is not an "expert", and (while not intending to) usually does more harm than good... As a newly rededicated Christian, Pentecostal, I was Biblically Sharp as I devoured the Word. Unfortunately, I was also sharp-tongued and caused a great deal of grief with my very one-sided legalism. I didn't know how to put my arm around a persons shoulder and walk with them through their corrective healing. In fact, corrective healing was one of the farthest things from my mind as I legalistically slashed my way towards self-righteousness... Every church has people like I was, whether Calivinistic or Aremenian in basic tenet... NEXT TIME (I am out of time this morning) I want to start a thread on (The Wounds of a Friend are Faithful.) Mike Sr.