Proverbs 27:17: As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
This Proverb is intended to show us our need to converse with one another and to encourage one another on to love and good deeds. We as Christians should be involved with one another's lives and praying for one another and knowing how to spur one another to action.
I have found this week that the conflict in my life has had a similar effect. At every point of conflict, I have been confronted with my own selfish tendencies. Conflict against my natural self. While I would like to say that I responded in every and all occasions in the Spirit, in fact I have not. My flesh is far too vocal and defends itself far too readily.
It frustrates me so, because my heart's desire is to be a bold witness for my Lord. I never want to rely on my natural tendencies, but it seems I am so prone to defensiveness and retaliation when confronted. I understand what Paul meant in Romans 7:21-25
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?
Thanks be to God--through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God's law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.
What a wretched person I am to be so quick to act in my flesh. I would have no hope apart from God's mercy on me. I now have hope because I am redeemed not by my own doing but by the price Jesus paid for me. I am no longer a slave to sin because I can choose not to sin. I am a daughter of God and have been fully paid for.
Thank God that I do have conflict because it causes me to see how weak my flesh is and how much I need to depend completely on my Savior to make it through each day. Thank God that in the conflict he grows me and he trains me to be more like him and to see his character more fully. What a wonderful God we serve!