Sharpening Iron

If you've wondered if conflict is good this biblical quote should settle it.

As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another.

You can see it every week in one sports event or another. Individuals and teams go against each other and the more they do the sharper they get the stronger they get the smarter they get. Without competition there is no way to be competitive. Without confrontations atrophy will soon begin to set in whether physical mental or spiritual.

A few years ago before I got married I used to hang with a few believers that spent a lot of time speculating about different aspects of Christianity. To the casual listener it would have sounded like some folks that were on the edge of heresy. In reality these speculations were exercises in logic. In many cases there was one that acted simply as devil's advocate putting the others to the test.

Such is the basis for intellectual debates. With points counterpoints and all that is involved in attempting to prove or disprove a theory both debaters (theoretically) discuss everything substantive about a subject.

Conflicting opinions whether in debates or arguments are extremely useful in developing not only presentation skills but intellectual thinking skills. While many schools and churches are content to learn from simple instruction/indoctrination and pass some simple tests they won't have the ability to defend what they believe or think against critical scrutiny. In-depth study of any subject is necessary to its mastery and confrontation is the best way to leave no stone unturned.

I suspect that is the characteristics that gave the Bereans their reputation. For those who may not know the Christians in Berea were known for searching the scriptures to see if what the teachers had to say was true. Those believers didn't just prove what they were taught in so doing they were preparing themselves for when they would be tested and proven.

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