In today's chapter, there is a thread of thought dealing with those around us. Let me share it with you quickly today (I do know that while some may want more detail in the post, not everyone has the time to read long entries, so it is with those folks in mind that I do try to keep it short...though by explaining it I have just taken more of your valuable time, so....oops.) Here goes:
The ADVANCING of others - Proverbs 27:2 Let another man praise thee, and not thine own mouth; a stranger, and not thine own lips. If you have to tell everyone how great you are, then it probably is not true! It is not our job to advance ourselves, but to advance the gospel to the whole world. Let other's praise you, so that God may praise you in the end.
The ASSEMBLING of others - Proverbs 27:8 As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wandereth from his place. There is a nest of safety, a place that God has for each born-again believer. That place is the local, New Testament church. We should each seek our place and serve.
The ADVICE of others - 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. This has been one of my purposes for this series this month. As I think about the subject of iron sharpening iron, I thought about what is involved. There has to be a little friction to make the blade sharp. But too much friction, and the blade become notched and ragged and unusable. Discussion is good, but can be taken too far. How many of our Proverbs deal with just leaving alone those who want to fight and argue just to do so? But as sincere, born-again believers, we should seek other like-minded people to discuss, and even disagree with sometimes (as long as it is not a fundamental truth), so that we might become "sharper" in our faith and knowledge.