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A few years ago I realized something(praise the Lord), but I haven’t yet seen an open door to share it, until now. Yesterday’s response on this site, by DaveW, was the open door I have been waiting for. What I am referring to is the Scripture.......... "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." (Proverbs 27:17) What the Lord pointed out to me, is the fact that most people do not know how to “sharpen” an axe! If you do not know how to make an axe’s edge SHARP, you will not know how this Scripture works! ------------------------ Let me start, at where I learned to “make an edge SHARP”! I was just a young married man with a young family to support and had a job at a shop that built air conditioning ducts(the old fashioned way, by hand), This construction required thousands of 1/8" holes to be drilled in sheet metal. All of this drilling, caused these 1/8" drill bits to become dull. But instead of throwing them away, my boss would have us “re-sharpen them”, and they would be LIKE NEW. So as I was being instructed on how to do this, I leaned that the way that my mind thought, would make these bits sharper, actually made them duller! I quickly learned the right way to do it and the same principal works with any iron, that needs to be sharpened. Occasionally, over the years I would see on a television show or movie, an actor’s depiction of an old farmer, sharpening an axe and I would be reminded of the way that I thought it should be done and how that most people think that it is done that way. Then, a few years ago, I applied this fact, of “how to truly sharpen an axe”, to this Scripture; And realized God’s method, of truly making my self sharper! ------------------------ Picture in your mind, a grinding wheel, in front of you; and your ready to sharpen your axe. Now, as your lowering the axe toward the wheel, with it’s edge away from you, is the wheel turning toward you or away from you. The way that seems to be more “logical” and “safe”, is for the wheel to be turning away from you. That is, with the wheel going in the same direction as the blade’s edge. This will make the blade duller and duller(building up more and more metal on the edge). But, if the wheel is turning against the sharp edge of the blade, it will be removing more and more metal, making the blade sharper and sharper. ------------------------ The way this applies to this scripture, is: If we only debate and discuss the Bible with people that we totally agree with, than we will get more and more assured, that we are right. But, if we discuss the Bible with Christians, that hold an apposing view of that subject or Doctrine, than it will give the Holy Spirit a chance to chip away at some of the wrong ideas that we have. I can somewhat understand, why some people would want to avoid these kinds of heated discussions, because it is not always fun, to be told that your opinion is wrong. But if it’s wrong, you(we), should be anxious to be corrected, so that we can be “rightly dividing the Word of truth”! ------------------------ I have yet to find an individual in my area, who is willing to have these kinds of discussions with me. Local pastors and friends that I know, do not want to get into the weeds, of any of those subjects, we are not in total agreement on. But, praise the Lord for the internet, where people feel more free to be truthful with you, when they think that you are wrong. And for forums like this, where you are able to say “almost” anything. I recall a few years ago, there was a site called “The fighting fundamentalists”. Where you could go and discuss ANY SUBJECT OR ISSUE. It was kind of like the old west. Sure, there may have been a lot of “un-Christlike responses”, but you had to be tough and stand your ground with Scripture. Nothing was ever said or done, to PROTECT anybodies feelings! Those were the good old days. I recall a “Reformed site”(Calvinist), that did not allow any statements or even questions, that would call into question the “Calvinist view of things”. I was kicked off almost immediately. But the problem with that was, it HURT the Spiritual Walk, of every true Christian that was on that site, because they are being PROTECTED from opposing views. ------------------------ Facing OPPOSING VIEWS, is good for us. Because it forces us to take a closer look at what we believe. There is another site, called “the Baptist Board”. I spent a lot of years there and it did some wonderful things in my life, because it is ran by and filled with, people who believe that being King James Only, is some incurable disease. All the years that I spent “defending the Bible” on that site, increased my faith in God’s Word a hundred fold. BUT, on a few occasions, I had to back off. On times when the onslaught of attacks became too pointed or when attacks started coming from people that I respected on that site, I would have to back off and stay away from that site. There were times that I felt like David, when he penned.... "But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped." (Psalms 73:2) When there were times, when I would start to even consider the possibility, that God’s Word could have any mistakes!!!! I knew that I needed to back off from these lies and get back into God’s Word and allow the LORD, to restore my faith! Yes, these were dangerous times; But they worked together for good, in my life. And who knows how many souls, were encouraged by my stand, to take a stand of their own.