IRON SHARPENS IRON

Everett Piper has become one of my favorite newspaper columnists. Why? He takes a logical, reasoned approach to today’s issues, and he is unafraid to reference our Christian heritage as the basis for his arguments.  Hence he makes use of that proverb in the figure above.

Think for a moment about what it means. Why iron to sharpen iron? Will a man who is thoughtless and indecisive in word and deed have much effect or influence upon others?

Almost all of us grow up hoping our lives will have some significance, but few of us teach our children the significance of that old proverb. To have an appropriate, positive effect upon others, we must believe the Truth, and we must have a strong faith in the Truth. That requires us to know what we believe and why we believe what we believe. That requires study. Therefore, I beg you. Consider Choosing the right path in contentious times by Everett Piper. Here is how Piper’s column begins.

“Two roads diverged in a wood,
And I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”
— Robert Frost

Reflecting on this classic poem by Robert Frost, I can’t help but remember a recent political debate I had with a good friend and fellow Michigan State University Spartan. It was one of those fun conversations. The hours flew by like minutes. The depth of our differences was obvious. We each held strong views that were essentially opposite of one another.

I believed and expressed one ideal with great conviction. He did likewise, but to the opposite effect. I advocated one view. He espoused another. Both of us obviously shared the proverbial hope that “as iron sharpens iron, one man would sharpen the other.”

Yet, while having no intention of ceding the high ground of the argument to the other, both of us tempered our confidence with a good measure of courtesy and mutual respect. Bottom line — We relished the disagreement because we both knew this was the kind of wrestling good education is made of.

As I and my friend both moved from one idea to another, sparring and jockeying for position, it quickly became very obvious that, in the end, all of our arguments basically came down to one key question: Is truth an objective fact or is it merely a subjective construct? In other words, is truth an exclusive reality or is it merely an inclusive narrative. (continued here)

Is there an objective Truth? What is it? What should we teach our children? What path do we want to them to choose?  Who should decide what path we teach our children to travel? Their parents? That is what we believe here.

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2 Responses to IRON SHARPENS IRON

  1. Tom,

    Paths in life can appear to vary in appearance over time in history the same as a landscape can appear because of erosion.
    Frost’s verse can mislead a child to believe the ‘least traveled’ road means they know more than their Creators, their God and/or parents.
    In other words, the least traveled road can be a romantic illusion of landscape over time.
    For example, in our contemporary times, Christianity appears to be becoming the least traveled and uglier, in my opinion.
    The reason might be connected to some cleaver intriguer known over time and history to put up a lot of false detour signs in a person’s life.
    In other words, we need a good compass or Bible, or parents and teachers to guide us to discern the truth if the least traveled path is the ‘Righteous’ path that leads to God according to this psalm verse:
    All the days of their lives He leads them in the paths of righteousness, with goodness and mercy constantly following them.
    Anyone who has a good compass Bibl, providing they understand how to discern wisely the use the compass properly to help lead them from an ugly or dreary landscape in this life and the next.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

  2. Tom Salmon says:

    Thanks for the comment.

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