a man sharpeneth ... friend — that is, conversation promotes intelligence, which the face exhibits.
This intimates both the pleasure and the advantage of conversation. One man is nobody; nor will poring upon a book in a corner accomplish a man as the reading and studying of men will. Wise and profitable discourse sharpens men's wits; and those that have ever so much knowledge may by conference have something added to them.
It sharpens men's looks, and, by cheering the spirits, puts a briskness and liveliness into the countenance, and gives a man such an air as shows he is pleased himself and makes him pleasing to those about him. Good men's graces are sharpened by converse with those that are good, and bad men's lusts and passions are sharpened by converse with those that are bad, as iron is sharpened by its like, especially by the file.
Men are filed, made smooth, and bright, and fit for business (who were rough, and dull, and inactive), by conversation. This is designed,
1. To recommend to us this expedient for sharpening ourselves, but with a caution to take heed whom we choose to converse with, because the influence upon us is so great either for the better or for the worse.
2. To direct us what we must have in our eye in conversation, namely to improve both others and ourselves, not to pass away time or banter one another, but to provoke one another to love and to good works and so to make one another wiser and better.
Do you know your neighbors name? Have you ever talked to them? In our society Sociologist call this the cannon generation, it was said back in the 90's it started with the advent of many new things tat were popular, home delivery pizza, use of the internet, renting movies and just staying in and cocooning ourselves, this is the way it is. Big cities, small cities, villages and towns, nobody talks, no body trusts anyone. In America it is very bad, there may be some places this is not so, but for the most part, that is our fast food life we have chosen.
Now texting in the rave, think of that a second, at-least before you had a real conversation, now its texting, Im'ing and so forth, the human touch is quickly diapering. Life needs the human touch.
There was a study with infants, those who were not picked up and cradled, touched, held and those that were, the infants that were held and rocked grew faster and learned faster. Plant life is the same, take one plant and speak nice to it, play classical music, it grow and the one that is yelled at, or not talked to, and has loud pop or rock music withers and dies, how much more so man.
The lord created us to converse, to have those around us we could talk to. The christian must have those of like mind around to talk of the things of the lord to. What about soul winning, I see a correlation here, and one reason we do not see much of it anymore, the command is the same, people are not. People need people, yes they can be a thorn, a hassle, a drag, gossips, harsh, bitter, but how we need them it sharpens us, and we sharpen them. I have come to deeply understand this being a desert rat, in this barren waist-land, conversation, fellowship, sharpening others, talking of the great things of the lord. No man is an Island unto himself, the infant , and plant experiment shows this, put a criminal that acts up in solitary confinement and it does the job, we have not been called to live a life of solitary confinement.
The word says there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother, true, it is said in a persons life if they ever find one, yes one true friend, someone you would trust your life with is the average, and two almost never. So goes life, how many true friends do you have, do you have friends, do you talk with others, about Jesus, the bible says in PS. The lord sets the lonely in families, this is what the church used to do for the many cast away, the unwanted, now the church no longer welcomes them, so where are they, the person next to you on the subway, the train, a bus, behind you at the store, in-front of you at an ATM, they are everywhere. Do we see with the eyes of Jesus and seek out such ones, NO, we are to busy living our own lives, to busy to be polite, to busy to give a darn about anyone , but self, O how self is pampered, feed, indulged. The command stands clear, go and make disciples of all nations, it has not charged. If we obey that and look for the one out of 99 sheep we just might find the needed cure for our dull sword.
Even in soul winning, being kind to others, helping someone you do not know change a flat tire just might be what the lord ordered, sounds simple, but it sharpens our sword.