Author: Sarah Andruszko — Host: Dylan KraayenbrinkPosted on: April 7, 2024

Unlocked: Daily Devotions for Teens

READ: PROVERBS 17:17; 27:17; ECCLESIASTES 4:9-10; JOHN 15:12-15

Do you ever meet someone and think something like, “I hope your weirdness matches my weirdness, so we can be friends”? I do! The Bible says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” (Proverbs 27:17). The longer I walk with God, the more I realize what a gift those friends who sharpen me really are.

I have a friend who sharpens her favorite knife each time she uses it. This seems like a hassle to me, but it really is an awesome knife! And I don’t think it would be the same if she hadn’t been so diligent in its care. In the same way, making deep friendships can feel like more of a hassle than it’s worth. It can be intimidating enough to let GOD into the vulnerable parts of our hearts, and He already knows us completely and loves us fully—Jesus even died and rose again so we could be friends with Him! Opening up to another person can be risky, but it also means your friend can have a rare opportunity to know the real and totally quirky you. It gives them a chance to step back and appreciate who YOU actually are!

Another benefit (or risk) of making true friends: it results in a smoothing of our rough edges. The filing away of the parts of us that were bent by hurtful circumstances, experiences, or even other people, and the strengthening of our character… which all helps us love God and our neighbors better. This makes going through the process of making deep friendships well worth it. Iron is the best tool for sharpening iron, and making true friends who will be honest with you is one of the best ways to grow into more of the person God created you to be (Proverbs 27:6, 9).

If we set out to try to change each other, it will never work, but through love, acceptance, encouragement, and even appreciation of each other’s “weirdness”…that’s when the good stuff happens. That’s when we feel safe to be ourselves. That’s when we don’t have to put up our guard to protect our hearts from being hurt. That’s when we shine our brightest, and yet it’s also when some of the not-so-shiny parts of our hearts can show up as well. It’s through these safe interactions that we are sharpened…if we trust Jesus to help us be sharpenable. • Sarah Andruszko

• It can be scary to be honest about your thoughts and feelings with someone because they might criticize or even reject you. This fear can also keep us from going deeper in our relationship with God, but He never criticizes or rejects us when we open up to Him. He welcomes us with grace, healing, and gentle guidance. And He calls us to do the same (Romans 15:7). Have you ever opened up to someone and been welcomed by grace, healing, and gentle guidance? What was it like?

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. Ecclesiastes 4:9 (NLT)