Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
Yes, iron sharpens iron, but it can also chip away and dull us and harm others.
I think we’ve gotten so aggressive and act as if iron is for hurting each other. I think we’ve gotten so suspicious that we haphazardly swing this way and that way.
Then we justify ourselves.
Well, if I don’t speak up, who will?
If I don’t fight, who will?
Not every fight needs to be fought, and if it does, it needs to be fought well—not to maximize damage. Consider the following questions:
- Is it a fight I want to fight? (Consider to motivation behind fighting or not fighting. Is it selfish? Do you need to prove a point to make yourself feel better? Is it a fight someone else is at the center of and doing everything that can productively be done right now, so that your involvement is less about actual fighting than being interested in the process and invested in the results?)
- Is it a fight I can win? (Not that we should only engage in fights we can win, but we need to choose well. We all lose when we fight the wrong fights, because those efforts affect the right fights.)
- Is it a fight that must be fought for the rightness of matters? (These are principles, not selfishness. This is a bigger picture.)
Ask before proceeding. And don’t just ask yourself. Ask others you trust; ideally, ask others who aren’t as emotionally involved as you or have different viewpoints than you. Seeking affirmation is not the same as seeking wise discernment.