As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)
Iron sharpens iron. If God is indeed our friend and our God, He should be able to sharpen us. Have you watched a video of a blacksmith beating iron into submission? The beating is not meant to cause pain or damage but rather to refine the object. Now, imagine that you are the iron and God is 'beating' you into submission. Painful, right? Thing is, we are not objects but beings with flesh and a heart that beats and sometimes it feels that God is 'stomping' on our hearts, our wills and our desires.
When iron sharpens iron, extreme heat is involved. The iron object is exposed to fire. If you were to touch the object then you would burn yourself. A thing that can be learned here is to grace people when they're going through the fire. Often times when we meet someone through the fire it is not always a true reflection of who they are. They may be temporarily embittered or angry at God and the world and this can reflect in their interactions with others. Try not to take it personally but rather lift them up in prayer. The same fire that can refine a person can also cause scars if care is not taken. May the latter not be our portion in Jesus name.
Depending on the exact specification of what is required, the iron is then twisted and moulded into the final form. This is because iron, pure iron anyway, is malleable; it can be bent into what is required of it. Some of us may say that we are iron but that is not 100% correct as we are an amalgamation of various metals thus rendering us to be composite materials. This could be pride, jealousy, unforgiveness and much more.How then can we be sharpened? We end up being resistant to the process and what God had desired to use to mould us to be better Christians instead mars us and we become embittered towards Him. Are we going to allow God to mould us-completely? Or are we just going to go through the process in vain?
Iron sharpens iron, yes but we have to allow it to and a part of that is embracing the process, the fire and the pain. God does not force anyone and it is possible that He stops during the process due to our refusal to be bent and that in itself can leave us deformed.
When we see fellow Christians sharing their testimonies it is because they have allowed God to sharpen them. Will you do the same? There are multiple seasons of sharpening in our lives and the end of one that culminates in a testimony can sometimes mean that another season of such is on its way. Maybe you're going through the fire right now and if so then you are not alone because I am in it too but most importantly God is here, in the fire with us and provided that we submit ourselves to Him then we will come out refined and moulded into what God has called us to be.