Better Together

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Saturday mornings are made for ironing. No, not that kind, beloved. This kind of iron, meant to smooth away our rough edges and strengthen our friendships.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17

I’ve quoted this verse for years as if I knew what I was talking about. But the truth is, I’d never met a real blacksmith and had no idea how this sharpening business works. Now I do. In thirty seconds you will too.

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

As iron sharpens iron,… Proverbs 27:17

The Bible tells us “iron is made sharp with iron” (NLV), a process that begins with a standard metal file and an iron blade. The iron blade is propped on a support — say, a small wooden block — and then the metal file is drawn across the edge of the blade in slow, measured strokes until a sharp, rough edge is created.

Next the “iron is whetted” (WYC) using a small amount of oil on a whetstone. Rubbing the iron blade against the oiled stone smoothes away the rough edge, leaving the blade polished and sharper still.

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

So far, so good? Then “in the same way that iron sharpens iron” (VOICE), heavy-duty sandpaper is cautiously smoothed along both sides of the blade. This blends the edge with the rest of the surface and makes the finished product exceedingly sharp.

Handle with care.

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Sharp, pointy objects do a fine job of slicing bread for a meal or slicing the air in a sword fight. But they also can pierce our hearts and pry us open: “For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12).

In this favorite verse from Proverbs, the Hebrew word barzel means “iron tool.” When we use our words like swords, we need to follow the Spirit’s leading. Instead of cutting in two, open gently. Instead of rubbing the wrong way, polish. Instead of inflicting new wounds, smooth over the old ones.

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

…so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 

The Hebrew word rea means not just any person but a “friend, companion, fellow, neighbor.” Someone we know well. Someone we care about and who cares about us.

Our goal as believers is to hone one another so we become sharper and more effective in our faith. People opposed to God may “sharpen their tongues like swords” (Psalm 64:3),  but those of us who love Him are called to “improve each other” (NCV).

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Three centuries ago Matthew Henry said, “Wise and profitable discourse sharpens men’s wits.” Still true today. Conversation — one-on-one, eye to eye — accomplishes far more than texting, tweeting, or sending e-mails.

After all, our faces talk too. Eyebrows rise with surprise or furrow with confusion. Mouths smile, frown, twist. Noses wrinkle.

The Hebrew word paneh means “face.” Literally, “friends sharpen each other’s faces” (CEB). We smooth away the rough spots, not with sandpaper, but with wisdom. We “whetteth the face” (WYC) of a friend, not with a stone, but with a timely word.

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

The end result is better “character” (CJB) and sharper “minds” (CEV). Friends are meant to encourage one another and cheer on one another, adding color and beauty to their lives like these stunning roses from a New Zealand garden.

Yet sometimes we have to say hard things and risk a cherished friendship for the greater good.

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

After I had spoken at several Women of Faith conferences, two of my platform sisters approached me backstage and told me in no uncertain terms that I was no longer to make fun of my abundant body. “Own it, Liz. Don’t trample it.”

Oh my. What I thought was entertaining, even empowering, came off as self-deprecating and little else. Ouch. Still, these women knew me, loved me, and wanted God’s best for me. However much the truth hurt, it was still the truth, and I took their wise counsel to heart.

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

God’s Word assures us “wounds from a friend can be trusted” (Proverbs 27:6). If your conscience has been pricked by someone who genuinely cares for you, keep this truth in mind: her words were meant to help and designed to heal. And if they were sent from God, they’ll do both.

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Another friend showed me how to do life better without saying a word. I’d exchanged presents with her through many holiday seasons, always hoping she enjoyed the gifts I’d chosen especially for her.

She kindly returned the favor, sending me an equally thoughtful present, until one Christmas when all I received was a card with a note: “I gave a donation to this wonderful charity in your name.”

My first response? Humph. This isn’t a gift. It’s a tax write-off. (Sorry. That’s the sad truth of it.) I kept looking at the donor card, trying to get excited about the idea and failing miserably.

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Better Together | Liz Curtis Higgs

Finally the Lord opened my eyes.

Do you need yet another present, Liz? I do not.
Do impoverished families need help? They do.

Whether she did so by intent or by accident, my friend had provided the gift I needed most: fresh eyes to see my shortsightedness and a chance to follow her fine example.

Father God, thank You for all my sword-bearing friends. They open Your Word to me when I need it most, and they close my mouth when I need that too. Help me be as brave and loving as my friends are. Help me not only speak Your truth in love but also live out Your truth in deed.

July 2018 Book by Book | 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart

This month’s post comes from the chapter “Sharp Edge, Clean Cut” in 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart. If you’ve not picked up your copy yet, as of today it’s still just $1.99 on Kindle. What a bargain, eh? Certain to disappear soon. Prefer the hardcover book? Feel free to order that instead (smile).

On Wednesday, July 25 at 5:00pm I choose five names among those who kindly commented on this post to receive an autographed copy of 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart, along with a pair of pretty coasters featuring our cover rose. Congrats to Renee’, Una, Myra, Stephanie, and Virginia.

How I love diving into God’s Word with you, month by month, book by book!

Your sister, Liz

Liz Curtis Higgs

P.S. Our next Facebook LIVE will be Wednesday, August 1 at 12:00noon EDT, as together we open a brand-new edition of Slightly Bad Girls of the Bible: Flawed Women Loved by a Flawless God, releasing Tuesday, July 24. Missed our July 1 Facebook LIVE for 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart? No worries. You can watch it here anytime.

P.P.S. I’m still feeling great and exceedingly grateful, especially since I don’t need to see my oncologist again until November. Yay! I can never thank you enough for your prayers and encouragement, and hope to hug you in person at an upcoming event!

225 Responses to Better Together

  1. ORJean July 20, 2018 at 11:52 pm #

    The longer I work the more I realize how desperately people are thirsting for the love and grace from our wonderful God. It is “God’s Work-Our Hands”. When we temper the steel with love and forgiveness we forge stronger departments. Hopefully we have given a glimpse of the infinite love and forgiveness of God.

    • Judy Strohman July 21, 2018 at 6:34 am #

      Thank you for this verse today.. I attended a funeral yesterday of a friend’s young relative. There were so many people there to support the family. We all need each other in this life, God wants us to lift each other up at times of need and be there at times of joy also. Thank you Liz.

    • Gwen Woods July 23, 2018 at 7:36 am #

      Just what I needed to hear today

    • Brenda Theis July 23, 2018 at 8:36 pm #

      A wonderful word as always. Funny thing, I have a piece of paper in the front of my bible with that very verse written on it from 9 translations. I then wrote out another verse, Prov 27:9 (Amp) “Oil and perfume rejoice the heart; so does the sweetness of a friends counsel that comes from the heart. ”
      I am so glad to have friends on my side, they can be honest with me and give me wise counsel from the heart instead of just patting me on the shoulder and saying everything is okay. We all need wise counsel and who better to give it to us than a friend who cares about us enough to say something.
      P.S. Happy to meet you and get my book signed in Minnesota a few days ago.

  2. Mary James July 21, 2018 at 5:22 am #

    Thank you LIz for this wonderful bit of wisdom. I have seen a blacksmith at work and now realise how apt your words today are.
    I always feel refreshed and as if my eyes have been opened to new possibilities after reading and reflecting on your insights. How precious they are to us all.
    Thank you for sharing roses from New Zealand. My father used to grow beautiful roses. My favourites were Compassion and Peace. I pray for both of these gifts for you as you continue to travel with your health.

    • Susan Pralle July 21, 2018 at 9:08 am #

      What a great reminder for us to live by! Love to hear your thoughts from your heart! PS enjoyed meeting you some months back in Illinois! Praying for you!

  3. Tammy July 21, 2018 at 5:39 am #

    My son’s wrestling team used Prov 27:17 as their verse for the season several years ago. I felt it was a good one for them to reflect on.

  4. [email protected] July 21, 2018 at 5:59 am #

    The need to be cautious of what we speak at all times that we don’t wound others, but also in wisdom to know when the Lord gives you a word to speak, that you speak it.

  5. Tammy Summers July 21, 2018 at 6:00 am #

    God has humbled me and softened my heart towards others through these last few months of caring for my mom. I sat by her side one day and said, “Lord, I want to be a Christian woman like my mom, one who lives others unconditionally. I’ve been so judgmental in my attitude towards others, and I realize final judgment is Your business, not mine. Help me to look at people as You want me to, people who need Your salvation, not my haughtiness.” We do suffer much while on this earth, but we need to learn, grow, and be thankful through those times.

  6. Frances Daniel July 21, 2018 at 6:02 am #

    I needed each paragraph of this explanation/encouragement TODAY!!! Thank you.

  7. Karen Miller July 21, 2018 at 6:04 am #

    Thank you for your words of wisdom. I need to make face to face conversations a priority. I would love to be able to share this book with my daughter.

  8. Kimberly July 21, 2018 at 6:18 am #

    I truly love having great friends who are honest and will tell you what you need to hear, God puts them in our lives for a purpose.

  9. Cheryl Novak July 21, 2018 at 6:24 am #

    I love the thoughts in this devotional. Gives me a new perspective on this verse.

  10. Valerie Braaten July 21, 2018 at 6:30 am #

    Thank you for sweet words of encouragement. I can’t watch t to meet you in Williston, ND IN November. . May our GOD continue to bless you above what you can imagine

  11. Dawn July 21, 2018 at 6:42 am #

    Thank you so much, I have been struggling grieving, I needed your words today.

  12. Jo Shaffet July 21, 2018 at 6:52 am #

    Thank you, Liz. I always appreciate your devotions. They give me a good start to my day. I’m also happy to heard you’re feeling well. You are such a blessing!!

  13. Trudi Neubeck July 21, 2018 at 7:05 am #

    My 13 year old daughter said to me in a moment of anger ‘what do You know’ and that I was ‘JUST a secretary’. The words were So hurtful. I took hours to think of a response and pray. And in the mean time I discovered maybe I was not satisfied with my profession and it showed.

    My first career, I brought computerization to hospital surgical departments. My second career, I was a stay at home mom for 17 years and coordinated a homeschool for my son with special needs for 6 of those. After a painful divorce, I had no income and 2 kids and my mom to provide for. I inventoried my skills and thought ‘I bet I could be good at that’….and you know what? I am!!

    So I went back to my sweet girl and talked to her about my sacrifice (of my career) to stay home to be with her and her brother. That the time with them was worth it!! Would I have wanted a professional position coming back to the workforce? Yes. But I’m hourly so I’m Supposed to clock out and go home – to be with them!! Blessing!! I also told her how God graciously provided an Executive level Admin Assistant job when I had only been working 4 months as a temp. And now I am part of a great team that makes a difference for youth in my state (including her). God has abundantly provided for us in our time of need.

    Though my heart wanted one thing, God gave what I needed. We give thanks.

  14. Pam Parcell July 21, 2018 at 7:24 am #

    You are a true inspiration. As I read your words, I hear God in my heart. Thank you for writing what God puts on your heart.

  15. Nancy Link July 21, 2018 at 7:27 am #

    Beautifully written Liz! Oh to change the minds of those today who think texting, tweeting, or emails is good communication. I’m with you; face to face conversation let’s me hear the tone of their voice, see the expression of their face, and to look deeply in their eyes when they have a word to share. Blessings to today for sharing from the heart!

  16. Patricia Addison July 21, 2018 at 7:58 am #

    I really enjoyed this. It is so true – in our weekly women’s bible study, my fellow tribe members have helped sharpened my faith with their laughter, thoughts, and love. (By the way, we are currently studying “The Girl’s Still Got It”, and we are enjoying the book, as well as the tapes. We love your humor.)

  17. Rhonda July 21, 2018 at 8:01 am #

    The joy with which you speak comes through in your writing. I know there are many who read/have read your books, but I would encourage every reader of LCH to listen, at least once to you speaking. That contagious joy brings even further depth to all you write.

  18. LeeAnn Moore July 21, 2018 at 8:10 am #

    Liz, this post is precious! I’ve shared with our ladies Bible study group, Women of Iron. 🙂 It seems the church has developed its on PC version an we “don’t judge” to the hinderancd of sharing the gospel. I had one conversation recently where I said I truly hoped they love me enough to step in if needed—but there was one I fear wouldn’t. Heartbreaking. I truly love and appreciate you being a vulnerable blessing to us.

  19. Gin July 21, 2018 at 8:14 am #

    Excellent breakdown of a beautiful verse. I have certainly read this verse many times, but I had never really understood it in the way I do now. I love the imagery and instruction it gives for interacting with others. Thank you for sharing this wisdom!

  20. Jeannie July 21, 2018 at 8:20 am #

    Thank you for this vital understanding of this verse. Sometimes it’s hard to hear certain things, but as you said if it’s from the Lord they will help and heal. God’s blessings on you.

  21. Misty July 21, 2018 at 8:22 am #

    God bless you sweet friend, thank you for sharpening my iron😉

  22. Mavis Morton July 21, 2018 at 8:23 am #

    I have learned that even in your 60’s you can memorize. Love the tips you give in your book.

  23. Linda Sedler July 21, 2018 at 8:24 am #

    Liz, Thank you for this as I have friends who have given me words to ponder. I never looked at them the way you mentioned. This really spoke to me.

  24. Ann Thompson July 21, 2018 at 8:25 am #

    I have a friend like this. A wonderful God-fearing, God-loving friend who is so precious to me. Her words are always softly and thoughtfully spoken. I don’t agree with her 100% of the time but I absolutely know she speaks from her heart and she makes me think in a different perspective.

  25. Peggy July 21, 2018 at 8:25 am #

    I love the way you expound this verse. I’ve watched my husband sharpen knives and felt the edge afterwards. A dull knife in the kitchen is useless, even dangerous. Thank you, Liz. May I call you Liz?

  26. Amy Minnich July 21, 2018 at 8:29 am #

    Liz, this was an in-season word for me today. My friend and I often quote this verse to one another because that’s the kind of friendship we want to have. Last year I hurt her very badly with my actions and non-actions and this past year has been a struggle. Our long-distance friendship has taken a beating and it’s difficult being the offender because you’re the one doing the cutting. It’s hard to build back trust and to risk again, but your devo has brought fresh insight and hope. We have made a commitment to journey together and we want to build each other up. The title of your email message caught my eye in particular because it’s the theme of our friendship…”better together.” Thanks for the reminder. -AM

  27. Rita Rasmussen July 21, 2018 at 8:30 am #

    Liz, just what I needed today. This will help me at work when supervisors give advice to help me to my job better. Their words are meant to help and I took them as a reprimand.

    Thank you for all you do to the glory of God.

    Blessings.

  28. Marian Hindall July 21, 2018 at 8:30 am #

    Thank you Liz for this verse. It made me pause and to be thankful for those friends that helped me by sharpening me.

  29. Georgia Gallman July 21, 2018 at 8:32 am #

    ‘Iron sharpeneth iron’ is one of my favorite quotes. Thank you for sharing this wonderful chapter and all the wisdom in it! Love you, Liz.

  30. Sue Arnold July 21, 2018 at 8:32 am #

    I want to be the friend who sharpens those quietly, the donation idea is one I have thought of frequently, but never followed thru. I will now

  31. Dee Dee Worley July 21, 2018 at 8:33 am #

    Hi Liz,
    I have so enjoyed the beautiful, delicate roses this month along with your heartfelt shared words for us.
    Congratulations on the release of your new book-looking forward to reading and studying it with you in August.
    So good to hear you are doing well and God is answering all the prayers for you. I would appreciate your prayers for a friend of mine, Vicki, who was recently diagnosed with ovarian cancer which metastasized to her lungs before she knew anything was wrong, showed up as a mild, persistent cough. She has a number of friends from church praying for her and it would be nice to know you are remembering her as well. God bless you and your ministry!

  32. Shannon Cox July 21, 2018 at 8:34 am #

    Thank you for always encouraging us!! You are a sweet blessing. I am always moved by your insight.
    Praising God with you for your good report!

  33. Betsy July 21, 2018 at 8:35 am #

    I do appreciated you “sharpening” this verse for us! Your insights are very helpful. Lord, help me to be this kind of friend “

  34. Linda Stolk July 21, 2018 at 8:36 am #

    Dear Sweet Liz,

    I have had the privilege to hear you speak at two women’s events. I am so glad that your sisters in the ministry loved you enough to tell you to own the wonderful body that God has blessed you with. What I saw at those events was a beautiful woman of God with an amazing smile and a message that touched my heart. You have no idea how much you are loved by your ladies ❤️. I look forward to giving you a warm hug the next time I see you.

  35. Vicki Jo Moore July 21, 2018 at 8:36 am #

    Thank you for the reminder that I need sword bearing friends–more than I need to be a sword bearing friend. In this case, it is easier to give than to receive. But with the help of the Holy Spirit, I can receive words of correction from my friends and act on them.

  36. Joyce Wheeler July 21, 2018 at 8:36 am #

    Needed the reminder to watch my words….as there is a situation in my family that is really testing me in how to respond. Would appreciate prayers for a heartbreaking issue with two of my children.

  37. Clair Herrera July 21, 2018 at 8:46 am #

    This is perfect today!! Thank you for your honesty as it opens my own eyes! You have done an amazing job explaining and I just love it!

  38. Lesli July 21, 2018 at 8:48 am #

    I have a dear friend that has opened my eyes to truth also. She has such a way of having me look at things from another perspective. I have grown to appreciate this as I grow in my faith. Ever growing in my faith. Open eyes and hearts are truly important.

  39. Debra Freeman July 21, 2018 at 8:53 am #

    I first came to love your book, when a church I was visiting was doing the bible study. Bad Girls of the Bible. I loved it then and love them now. We are so glad to have found you on Facebook. Thank you for sharing God’s word in ways that fit our daily lives.

  40. Sylvia Belcher July 21, 2018 at 8:55 am #

    Oh Liz how I needed your early morning thoughts today. A dear friend recently gave me some sage loving advice…She told me to love myself…be good to myself because God loves me most a d despite growing with a mother who would not love me or nurture me God my heavenly Father holds me and even sings over me. How wonderful and faithful He is. Through the years God taught me how to love an incaring mom a d I have no regrets. Be richly blessed my sister in Christ. Sylvia Belcher in WV

  41. Donita Godwin July 21, 2018 at 8:56 am #

    What a joy your Bad Girls of the Bible has been to our Women’s Bible study this summer! We have had wonderful attendance, stimulating conversation , and lots of giggles as you open our eyes to Gods word and the many lessons to be learned from these women.

    Thank you ! And we are eagerly awaiting our Fall session with your study on Ruth.

  42. Denise M July 21, 2018 at 8:59 am #

    I have been on the receiving end of harsh , critical, cutting words, designed to wound, and I have also received words that are difficult to receive because they do wound initially but they are delivered with such love and care that I know they are causing a wound to bring about healing… rather like lancing a boil or going in for surgery. What a difference the heart makes in all of this for both the deliverer and receiver . Your words are such an encouragement in this difficult season of my life, and urge me to be humble but truthful, wise and compassionate, strong but forgiving.
    The tongue can be such a blessing and such a curse and I wrestle everyday with getting it right. Our son who once followed the Lord got into all sorts of trouble over the last years, and is now incarcerated. He won’t see us , so this mumma is reduced to letter writing and up til now havenot received a reply. Please pray that the words that find their way onto paper are loving , truthful , encouraging, and used by God to lance the boil and bring about healing so that he can repent of his actions and be restored to us. I have never pondered and prayed so much over what words the ink leaves on the page. Prayers gratefully received for the prodigal to come home.

  43. Jane July 21, 2018 at 9:01 am #

    You know, this verse holds a special spot in my heart. The Monday Morning Prayer group at my church that first pulled my late husband in and taught him to trust and pray with others, quotes this verse as their calling card. Lifechanging verse for my ‘Bear.’
    Thanks for choosing it.

  44. [email protected] July 21, 2018 at 9:01 am #

    Oh Liz, I really needed to hear this today. I pray every day for the Lord to guide my tongue, because at times it can be sharp, especially with family members if they do or say something that I find inappropriate. I sometimes speak before I think. Ha Ha. But God is good, He is helping me along the way, and I notice that I am learning to keep my mouth under control. It is getting easier as time goes by.
    Again Liz, thanks ever so much for your daily readings on Facebook and by email. I sure do look forward to them
    So happy that prayers are being answered concerning your health. I will continue to keep you in my prayers for a positive review come Nov. when you see your doctor.

  45. Dawn Peterson July 21, 2018 at 9:02 am #

    Wow! What a wonderful message… one I really needed to hear TODAY! As a wife, I must confess my words are more like rough sandpaper than a fine polishing. I confess I often inflict more wounds then heal in my desire to “improve” my spouse. This is so damaging to him and disrespectful to GOD! He made him the way he is, and it is His job to help him grow into all he can be – NOT MINE! Thanks again for a soul-pricking message – as iron sharpens iron, “wounds from a friend can be trusted” .

  46. Kristi July 21, 2018 at 9:03 am #

    So I just got back from a time of encouragement that I have started at our church called Koffee with Kristi and we have been talking about friendships and so when I opened up this email today and was like oh, yes this is perfect for our next meeting….So I’m sharing/stealing whatever you want to call it. 🙂 Thank you for this candid picture of TRUE (or maybe TRUTH) friendships!

  47. Diana Wilson July 21, 2018 at 9:03 am #

    I am most impressed that you humbled yourself to share two examples when your friends by word and deed sharpened you.

    The Holy Spirit consistently brings Psalm 19:14 to my mind to challenge me .

    “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.”

    Your devotional challenges me to not only be concerned about aligning my speech and thought-life to be more Christlike, but to gently encourage (sharpen) others with wise, gentle, kind and necessary words and actions. Thank you, Liz.

    Good to hear that you are in better health.

  48. Glenda Bolyn July 21, 2018 at 9:09 am #

    Liz, it was the beautiful roses that attracted me to your message today. I love reading Proverbs, too! It’s so easy to just plop open the Bible to find a verb or two in Proverbs to read when you’re rushed and don’t have time for a full time of study. The messages In Proverbs are always on target and show me situations in a new light; and I often need that!
    I appreciated your story about Christmas gifts. My extended family is large. Love them all but can’t afford to buy nice gifts for each one. In past years some of us have tried to gently suggest not giving. But some always say they want to and then we’re left not quite knowing what to do. When they have a gift for me, I’m embarrassed if I don’t have one for them. Making donations to good causes has been suggested and I like the idea. If my sweet sisters would just get on board! Maybe I’ll try that this year!
    Love your writing! We did a home Bible study one time using your “Bad Girls” first book. That was my first time reading you. Loved it!
    May God keep you well.

  49. Susan July 21, 2018 at 9:13 am #

    Liz this months email was wonderful. It made me think about both sides of that sharping. How do I say something to a friend with the Holy Spirit in my words? How do I accept it when my sword is being sharpened? Left me with much to think about. Love your emails. May you go in Christ until next month.

  50. Nancy July 21, 2018 at 9:14 am #

    I loved your post today about “iron sharpening iron.” As I read through it, I was touched by many of your insights. When you spoke about your sword-bearing friend who cared enough to tell you the truth, my first thought was, “Lord, I don’t have such a friend.” Immediately — I mean IMMEDIATELY (so that I knew it was Him) – the verse came to me, I have a Friend that sticketh closer than a brother. Oh wow! And that Friend knows the Word of God intimately and can wield that Sword most effectively in my heart and life! God is good! Thanks for sharing that, Liz. Loved the gorgeous roses, too!

  51. Anastasia Stephan July 21, 2018 at 9:16 am #

    Dear Liz, though I have heard of the sharpening process before, I had honestly not thought about it in detail with words with friends. The way they are sharp, which can be used for good when used right and for bad when used carelessly. Over and over again in my journal I have poured out my repentance and great desire to tame these lips. To use them for His glory and the edification of others…To speak in kindness and wisdom…rather than speaking careless words. It is truly one of my greatest pleas and desires…to bless others with my words, to encourage them, to lighten their burdens, to give them something straight from Jesus’ heart. Of course, I need it just as much:).

    It was such a blessing to find your words in my inbox this morning. For some reason I don’t receive them on a regular basis, but when they pop in, I smile big! And the roses! I am trying hand at growing roses…🙏🙏

  52. Marha July 21, 2018 at 9:19 am #

    Thank you for sharing. So excited for good health report. Yesterday I lunched with two of my sharp irons. We had not been together, just the three of us in such a long time and so much had happened in that time. After our leftover lunch, without clearing the table, we began plans for a field trip to see our former preacher and his wife Really, mainly to see our beloved sister who started our group on Tuesday evenings in the church parsonage. As we did Bible study and prayed together, we were drawn closer to God and to each other, deeply caring for one another. We notified other members of the plan to visit as well as the start of our study of Ephesians. After TCB, we began sharing things of the heart and how the devil was trying to take control of our thoughts. So very thankful for my irons. We speak Truth lovingly into each other. It is my prayer for all to have such iron friends and that I become bold while tending my flock.

  53. Sandra A Titterington July 21, 2018 at 9:21 am #

    What a wonderful way to start my Saturday morning – finished some readings & checked my email – there you were! Thanks for your words of cheer!

    Thank You, Lord, for your timing & for having Liz as your instrument to helping all of us in our journey to get closer to You!

  54. Mona Johnston July 21, 2018 at 9:23 am #

    I love this. Thank you for sharing your wisdom.

  55. Karen Parlier July 21, 2018 at 9:25 am #

    Dear Liz: You did an awesome job of describing iron sharpening iron! Wow I was hit hard about your comments from your friends telling you to stop talking and joking about your body, I guess after much thought they are right. You are created in God’s image and that is one awesome truth that we need to capture in our hearts! I truly love everything you share with us and thanks for being a willing servant of God created in God’s image! Praise God for being cancer free! Prayers appreciated as we face the possibility of throat cancer for my husband! I am trusting God everything works out for him and the tests!!

  56. Tina Riley July 21, 2018 at 9:28 am #

    Liz, your insight is so on point regarding words from a friend…
    Although at first your feelings are a little hurt (because you think you’re being criticized) if it truly does come from someone who cares for you you don’t have hurt feelings for long because you realize it’s something that needed to be addressed and the friendship grows stronger. I welcome constructive criticism even from my husband. It puts me in my place and helps me grow.

    Praising God for your recovery and feeling much better! Continued prayers for you dear lady ❤

  57. Constance Gamble July 21, 2018 at 9:28 am #

    Thanks,once again you were spot on in sharing what I needed to hear. Without those “encouraging” truths from those we trust we couldn’t grow!! Change or mature in the Lord. Thanks for the reminder!!!

  58. Stephanie Frederick July 21, 2018 at 9:30 am #

    Thank you, Liz, for sharing a personal example. I sometimes forget that what I say (about myself) may be fine for me, but could hurt someone else. May I always filter it through the eyes of others. I pray that I am always “quick to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger.”

  59. Elizabeth Scott July 21, 2018 at 9:33 am #

    Thank you for your timely word about how iron sharpens iron. Very insightful and encouraging. Last December I was that iron called to sharpen my sister in Christ. She knew I loved her and chose to ponder instead of getting angry and today she is able to find joy despite her circumstances not changing. It can be scary to be that iron and I pray I can respond properly when it’s my turn to be sharpened!!!

  60. Anita VanHaitsma July 21, 2018 at 9:35 am #

    Good Morning Liz. My how this devotional spoke to my heart. It is hard to be sharpened when you already feel less than “perfect,” when ironically, you also “think” you’re getting it right while knowing the truth, you aren’t perfect. And, it even stings a little bit once you realize that your Heavenly Father is using a situation or the words of a friend to sharpen you, to cause you to reflect on yourself and how He wants to shape you into an image that more closely reflects Him. May I always, by the power of the Holy Spirit, be sensitive to and responsive to His sharpening.

    • Rose July 21, 2018 at 10:15 am #

      I love how you put it, Anita. Because God is ultimately the one who is doing the sharpening through other people. And even though it may hurt for a while, our friends are not constantly watching us to see if we’re going to change. They go their way and forget it. Or, if they’re really caring friends, they’ll pray for us. And some say things without even realizing it touched a tender spot. That’s when we can be sure it’s God at work in our hearts.

  61. Barbie Shaw July 21, 2018 at 9:43 am #

    Liz,
    I love so much your daily inspirations! You are a bigger blessing than you know! As I sat quietly this morning pouring over my Bible I prayed Lord, help me to build people up with my words. I don’t think I’m terribly negative to others, but recently had a conversation where I over shared and walked away feeling like I made someone I love look rude. My heart breaks when my words are cutting and not encouraging. This email about iron sharpening iron was greatly encouraging to me and so very timely. Thank you!

  62. Jennifer July 21, 2018 at 9:44 am #

    I think this post is really right on target especially, for my own heart. You have just shown love in action among friends. Your words about the two platform speakers who approached you, showed me that being silent with friends we care about, isn’t loving at all. Not that we should blurt out what is on our mind but, in love and care, choose our words. I have a sensitive sister situation, my younger sister, and this post has helped me understand that if I really “love her” I would approach the delicate matter at hand, with care and sensitivity. Otherwise, it seems, we leave our loved one, a close friend or family member, flailing at sea without even a lifeboat. I so appreciate you and your words to us, Liz Curtis Higgs, and for keeping rooted in God’s word!

  63. Beverly July 21, 2018 at 9:50 am #

    This message was especially important and timely for me. It gave me an opportunity to share something from the Bible with my son that he can relate to as a sword collector. As an adult, he has drifted away from the church and I try to gently encourage him without being pushy. He then shared how rare old swords are and the way they are made. I pray that God will open his eyes and heart to deepen and strengthen his relationship with HIm. Thank you.

  64. Rose July 21, 2018 at 9:58 am #

    I loved this, Liz!

    When my boys were growing up we read Proverbs aloud, almost every day. Consequently, they used to voice their own version of some verses. Proverbs 27:17 was one of them. My youngest would say, “Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another man’s head!” I guess you can say he wasn’t really that far off the true meaning.

  65. Loretta July 21, 2018 at 10:00 am #

    We all need a few friends who are willing to sharpen us. Thankfully, I’ve been blessed with a few.
    I already have this book Liz, and it’s one I really enjoy!

  66. Paula Timpson July 21, 2018 at 10:00 am #

    We can’t fake the chemistry of friendship. This is so true. my husband is my best friend. Each rose symbolizes the work the thorns the joys and the love.
    St Therese helps marriages and friends thrive in His word. Open hearts open bible open life leads to strong friendships burning with love flame of Christ Forever

  67. Peggy Meyers July 21, 2018 at 10:02 am #

    Good morning Liz,
    Your words today on “Iron Sharpens Iron” were so encouraging to me. I have a very dear friend who looks to me as a mother figure. What she wishes her mother were like. She has no relationship with her mom and at this point I ask God to give me the words to gently nudge her in the right direction to reach out to her mom. My friend has many problems, as we all do, so I have to be very careful with my words. This mornings readings were so helpful. I will always remember “Iron sharpens Iron”. God Bless you LIz!

  68. Dorothy Cowling July 21, 2018 at 10:06 am #

    Thank you for your transparency, Liz. I really appreciate it. I would love a hard copy of your book.

  69. Pat Works July 21, 2018 at 10:12 am #

    Dear Liz, thank you for your continual smile, wonderful outlook, and encouraging words to all of us. Your message today of iron sharpening iron is spot on for my life. It is easy to help a family member, close friend, or other acquaintance to “sharpen” up. But how often are we sharpened ourselves by others and miss it. We take offense, ignore, refuse to acknowledge our own need to be sharpened. Thank you for this reminder. Also, your book, 31 Verses to Write on Your Heart is a BIG winner for me. I used it as a devotional and God’s words spoke loud and clear as well along with your insight into the depths of His truths. I highly recommend it to others. And, should I win a copy it will be given away to someone God points me to. Thank you, Liz, for all that you do, even as you have and are walking on a stony path. I pray for the good report for your next appointment. I came across a saying the other day that will fit your walk as well as others at times. “Each of us may be sure that if God sends us on stony paths He will provide us with strong shoes.” – Alexander MacLauren. Many blessings upon you, Liz. Pat Works

  70. Angela July 21, 2018 at 10:17 am #

    So thankful for friends that speak God’s truth over and to me. It is such a great gift from the Lord.

  71. Senda July 21, 2018 at 10:22 am #

    Hi Liz
    Thanks so much for your kind words. I grew up on a farm many years ago and can now see blacksmithing in a different and very meaningful light.
    Keeping you in my prayers.

  72. Carol July 21, 2018 at 10:26 am #

    Beautifully said and done. You reminded me I needed to do my ironing today. 😂 I have this book. I just wish it had the roses as well. Thank you for your daily encouragement.

  73. Amelia Steward July 21, 2018 at 10:26 am #

    Your words, “Friends are meant to encourage one another and cheer on one another, adding color and beauty to their lives” really struck me today. We live in a world where we are often torn down, sometimes by the media and TV, making us doubt the incredible creatures God has made us each to be. We must spend more time reminding our friends of that so that they feel God’s immeasurable love despite what is going on around them. Thank you.

  74. Laurie Diggins July 21, 2018 at 10:27 am #

    Thank you Jesus for the timeless truth of Your Word, for creating lavish roses in bountiful colors, for giving us friends who want to see the best in us. Thank-you for your loving care for each one of us. Thanks, too, that Liz continues to bring forth your Word in might and power. Blessings to you Liz!

  75. Patricia Ivie July 21, 2018 at 10:30 am #

    Oh, Liz, how I love the way Goduses your words! I really needed to hear this today.

  76. Brenda Edwards July 21, 2018 at 10:31 am #

    Hi Liz,

    I am so encouraged to read your posts. You have so much energy and humor. This time of the year is very tough on my emotions. My late husband was kidnapped and murdered several years ago, in June and my precious son Michael took his life, a few years ago, in August. I fight depression and anxiety almost daily. I try to outrun the bad, some days I cannot run fast enough. I struggle to stay focused. Please add me to your prayers. Thank you, stay you.

  77. Jane July 21, 2018 at 10:31 am #

    I am greatly blessed by the way Liz shares her insight into God’s Word. I look forward to these messages – beautiful words and pictures. Thank you so much for serving the Lord in this way.

  78. Dawn Phelps July 21, 2018 at 10:33 am #

    Thank you, Liz! I needed this today.

  79. Verlene Nickerson July 21, 2018 at 10:40 am #

    The part about “friends sharpen each other’s faces” … I’ve been told that my face speaks volumes without me saying a word. I’m reminded to make sure that my face is sharpening a sister not being perceived as dulling rather than sharpening.
    Another thought was that I need to remember that my so called sandpaper people in my life are serving a positive purpose … not only sharpening my edges but teaching me that they help me to smooth the rough ones. Thanks for that reminder.

  80. Bonita July 21, 2018 at 10:46 am #

    Most of my knives are dull, but at times my tongue can be sharp even in quiet moments to myself. I cut myself up emotionally by saying “your not good enough, God’s punishing you” and i allow Satan to do that to me over and over. However, I have found that reading God’s Word that I know is living and breathing and is alive, I find His Word is like a balm that covers those thoughts and words that can cut me deep. Thank You for your messages Liz. God uses special people like you to reach others who need some whittling to remodel our thoughts and focus on the One who truly loves us.

  81. Judi Knox July 21, 2018 at 10:50 am #

    I always enjoy your teachings. They are always shared with truth and softened with love and humor. You gave me a new perspective on the scripture Iron sharpening iron. When we text or email as you said some of the translation may not be as affective as facial expressions can add meaning as well. Keep up th messages of inspiration coming.

  82. Curtistine Earnest July 21, 2018 at 10:55 am #

    You’ve most certainly read Nancy Leigh DeMoss’ (NLD) book “Lies Women Believe.” Although her content was most beneficial to me it was the prayer that she wrote at the end of each chapter that impacted me the most.
    I appreciated your prayer at the end of this writing. I noticed something I would like to share with you. Here’s what you prayed at the end “Help me be as brave and loving as my friends are. Help me not only speak Your truth in love but also live out Your truth in deed.” NLD never used the word “help” in her prayers. She said, “convict me”, or “compel me” or “empower me, etc. You get the picture. As I pondered her use of words I became convicted that “help me” started with, well, ME! The other phrases started with God.
    This is just a thought I wanted to share with you, a woman who’s use by God has brought me to a clear understanding of His forgiveness. Liz, you are the BOMB!

  83. Karen Woodhull July 21, 2018 at 10:56 am #

    Liz, you have been a wonderful encourager for me since I went to see you speak at Whiting, NJ. Your words are timely and refreshing! Just wanted to say thank you, and although we may never meet you are a dear sister in Christ.

  84. Barb Ensink July 21, 2018 at 10:58 am #

    Thank you so much once again for your true Words of Wisdom! As we live in this world of “devices” we must remember true friends share their heart and soul and this can best be done face to face. I need this book. Soon. I may have to buy myself a gift! Love you and thankful you are doing so well. God IS good.

  85. Jennifer K July 21, 2018 at 11:02 am #

    I have so enjoyed your Facebook posts this month with these verses, what an encouragement!!! Thanks so much.

  86. Jennie Heberg July 21, 2018 at 11:07 am #

    I just love reading your writings and especially listening to your joyful voice. The Gift Donation response fit with mine as yours did. I also came around the same path you took. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful Rose photos, exquisite! Hardback books are truly my favorite, Free, even better. Thx also for the kindle edition. Be blessed.
    Jennie

  87. Trish July 21, 2018 at 11:16 am #

    Speaking truth in love. Our motives have to be checked to make sure we’re not putting our will on a friend but know this is from God. And we’re not responsible for more than our obedience. God is kind, be kind, God is love, be love, God is gracious be gracious. He works in us and through us. Thank you for your words today.

  88. Evelyn Vinje July 21, 2018 at 11:26 am #

    I am so blessed to have been at the Friday afternoon conference at Northwestern to hear you speak! Thank you for your email and links to your notes and “Better Together”! I would love to have a copy of “31 Verses to Write on your Heart”. I have a passion for writing and have done some but sometimes discouragement is so real. The description to this book sounds like a light for each day: “When you spend time in God’s Word, life starts making sense. The broken places inside you begin to heal. Darkness and discouragement give way to the light of hope.” One thing I long for is to bring hope to others in my future writing. I think your book would be a great start to each day!

  89. Christy Dyer July 21, 2018 at 11:33 am #

    Beautiful words accompanied by beautiful photos of God’s glorious roses. I love the visual delicacy of gentle petals played against the hardness of sharpening iron. We become softer, yet stronger through Christ’s presence in our lives. Love this!! Initially, I was drawn in by the stunning, exquisite roses, and then I enjoyed so much your thought-provoking, inspired writing. How I love sharing sweet sister time with my girlfriends, and I will be reminded of “faces talk”. Thank you for this gift that I can take with me!

  90. Lois Hudson July 21, 2018 at 11:34 am #

    Thank you, Liz, for this beautiful reminder cloaked in gorgeous roses!
    I can relate to disliking my body, dreading to have photographs taken, et al. I often say, “I don’t mind getting/being old; I just don’t like to be perceived as old.” Thank you for speaking truth! Cyberhugs to you!

  91. Elsie July 21, 2018 at 11:41 am #

    Wow I liked this devotion very much.Thanks for it. This is the kind of ironing I rather do even if it might be more challenging. Instead of ironing my clothes. I use Downy Wrinkle Releaser Plus.- which works most of the time. I love to meditate and key in on verses of scriptures this way they become mind. When I am reading a certain chapter I do mark the verses that fit me where I am now with my walk in the Lord. This thought just came – We are to release our burdens to the Lord so He can take the wrinkles out in our life to fulfill the verse “Our burdens are lifted at Calvary” and”He works everything out..” – Romans 8:28. Have a beautiful and joyful weekend.

  92. Joan Arning July 21, 2018 at 11:48 am #

    I pray that I will do the right kind of sharpening!

  93. Denise July 21, 2018 at 12:02 pm #

    Reading this brings to mind a special Sister in Christ. Because I trust her, and we’ve studied the Word of God together many times, we can help encourage and instruct each other in this very way. I so appreciate how you help us understand Scripture word by word. Thank you for that!

  94. Lisa Ann Wright July 21, 2018 at 12:09 pm #

    Hi Sister Liz! Your devotional today was most timely as I have just experienced this same kind of transaction with a few of my sisters in Christ. Although some of them went well, some did not. Not all want the street to run both ways. Praying for us all to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, strive to have a teachable spirit, and to walk in grace when we don’t!! God bless you and his continued success in your life!

  95. Suzanne C. July 21, 2018 at 12:09 pm #

    I too used to put myself down too and think it was ok and actually being humble and funny until I came to the knowledge that I am a temple of God and putting yourself down is making fun of what God created. And God doesn’t make no junk.

  96. Tammy Wilshire July 21, 2018 at 12:19 pm #

    This could not have come at a more perfect time. Just what I needed to hear today Liz. Thank you for sharing your insight.
    A dear friend of mine and I are discussing just this topic lately as we both are going through some very difficult times in our lives. We both said that speaking the truth to each other is sometimes very difficult because we love each other to pieces and we don’t want to “hurt” the other, but we slowly began to realize that sometimes we need to speak truth in a gentle way to allow us to grow and seek Christ in these trials.

  97. Myra July 21, 2018 at 12:20 pm #

    I’m thankful for this word today and for my treasured Sword-bearing sisterchicks!
    Continued blessings to you, Liz!

  98. Beth Taylor July 21, 2018 at 12:28 pm #

    What kept going through my heart while I was reading is this; while it is hard to be the friend who has to hear sharp words, it is even harder to be the one to have to say it. You have to be so careful with someone’s heart.

  99. Kristi July 21, 2018 at 12:34 pm #

    Liz, your words, wisdom & encouragement are so helpful. Your faith & firm grasp on God’s Word are inspiring. Thank you for helping point us to God & His Word. Bless you!

  100. Jennifer July 21, 2018 at 12:36 pm #

    Walking and loving in TRUTH, hits the heart. Thank you for this posting! My walk is filled with thorns, yet I am willing to encounter several cuts on order to walk with Grace in God’s love as well as His Word! I needed this today, for my walk was littered with thorns this last couple months. Thank you!

  101. Joanne McConkey Smith July 21, 2018 at 12:39 pm #

    Dearest Liz,
    I meet for bible study every other week with 5 women, all members of churches of different denominations – Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Church of Christ! The message in this email really spoke to me, and I will be forwarding it to these women, because I feel like it is exactly what we do for each other in our group! “Our goal as believers is to hone one another so we become sharper and more effective in our faith.” This is it!! I am so blessed to be a part of this group and to be able to have these women in my life!

    We have used many of your resources, all your women of the bible books (-:, and we have learned so much from these women, from you and from each other!
    Thank you so much!!
    Joanne Smith

  102. Pam Erselius July 21, 2018 at 12:59 pm #

    This is speaking to me today, so appropriately, along with Micah 6:8. God is so good and wise. I only hope & pray that I can follow through. Thank you.

  103. Margaret viss July 21, 2018 at 1:01 pm #

    Gods timimg is always good. Just the words I needed to hear. So glad to hear goods news on your health too.

  104. Deborah Bartilotta July 21, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

    Dear Liz,
    Love this post! It was what I needed to hear. I am missing a close friend and my mom who passed last year. They were my go to people for advice. Thank you for your service in God’s Kingdom. Love your books. Have not yet got this book, if I don’t win one I will have to pick one up.
    You friend in Christ Jesus, Deborah Bartilotta

  105. Connie July 21, 2018 at 1:07 pm #

    Oh how I needed this today. Thank you Liz.

  106. courtney July 21, 2018 at 1:11 pm #

    I had heard this used in ‘men’s ministry groups,’ thank you for applying it to women as well!

  107. Mary July 21, 2018 at 1:18 pm #

    This was so real and needed in my life. As I get older I find I desire sisters in Christ who will help me become more Christlike. It seems to have been a slow process for some of us. Lost my hubby to cancer a year ago. I don’t like a lot of what I see in myself now that it is just me in the house. I continue to pray for a complete victory over cancer in your life.

  108. Janel July 21, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

    I’m one of those people who feels like I could never challenge a friend in that way! Thanks for a great reminder, Liz, about speaking the truth in love – that sometimes the Lord will guide me to say hard things in a loving way, and that I can be open to receive them too.

  109. [email protected] July 21, 2018 at 1:19 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    I’m so, so glad you are feeling great….so thankful to our God for His touch upon you.
    I LOVE when I see email or a post from you….thank you for words that always challenge and encourage.
    Faith Simpson

  110. Pam tobin July 21, 2018 at 1:39 pm #

    Liz,

    I really needed to hear this today. Sometimes I can be so sharp and not meaning to. I also take criticism very personal this has showed me my friends are trying to help me and love me so much. Thank you again for God’s words through you. Also would love a copy of your book.

  111. Alana Morgan July 21, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

    Oh Liz…

    Your photos and words of wisdom and teaching are always ‘spot on’!!!

    Thank you for uplifting me with each and every reading and for the chance to win one of your fabulous books!

  112. Becky Schroeder July 21, 2018 at 1:48 pm #

    Thank you for today’s wonderful reminder. I have been thinking about two sisters in Christ who passed away within a week of one another as am planning a “Memorial Moment” during our Ladies Study Group”. These elderly ladies definitely used their “irons” well. They were an example to the rest of us. We have enjoyed studying your books within our group. May God continue to bless you!

  113. Paula Moulds July 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm #

    Liz,
    As we get older, it’s true that we don’t need so many things. A friend of mine has tried to give consumable gifts or charity donations. Our greatest gift, of course, is Jesus!

  114. Susan July 21, 2018 at 2:02 pm #

    This is so timely for me as I try to help my 19 year old granddaughter understand that the action she is about to take may cause irreparable harm to her mother and her 15 year old sister and definitely will fracture her relationship with her 17 year old sister. My daughter, her mother, was both suicidal and homicidal in December. She was again hospitalized in April. She has been in the hospital this time for18 days so far this time she had a plan to commit suicide and even attempted in the hospital earlier this week. I will print this out and give my granddaughter a copy if that is okay.

  115. Lori Hamada July 21, 2018 at 2:19 pm #

    Liz, you are indeed a day brightener! Thank you for sharing your candid, beautiful thoughts, and your captivating smile, and amazing photos. Yes, trusted friends help us hear the Lord and draw closer to Him, many times in unexpected ways. You are beautiful!

  116. Kim Skinner July 21, 2018 at 2:21 pm #

    Wow, Liz. I opened your email devotional on a Saturday because of the title. Saturdays are for ironing. I hate ironing, but remember my Mom doing it often when I was young. I hesitated going through my huge list of emails and was maybe going to delete yours, but decided to read instead. Boy am I glad I did. Despite the fact that I’ve been buying and enjoying your devotionals for years, I found this one hit me the hardest. Perhaps because many of us as women have friends that say things to us that are not meant to help us grow-they disarm us because they are critical, said by a jealous “friend”. But I learned from your email how important it is to know that it’s the Holy Spirit moving us to say kind and helpful comments to our believer friends, to try to say them “in person”, and to be thankful I have fellow sisters in the Lord who will speak into my life in this manner. I was impacted greatly by todays devotional. Thank you Lord for Liz’s faithfulness to Your word, and her redemptive work in our lives online!

  117. Denise Ward July 21, 2018 at 2:31 pm #

    Dear Liz, thank you for another wonderful message. This topic of “iron-sharpening” is one we don’t hear very often and yet we need it.
    In today’s society, people are quick to judge and criticize.
    But what you are talking about is encouraging a sister with loving words that offer godly re-direction. There may still be a sting of hurt, but the intent is not to hurt but to bless.

  118. Janis July 21, 2018 at 2:31 pm #

    Thanks for the reminder, Liz, that we can grow spiritually by heeding words from our sisters-in-Christ, even though they might hurt at first, just as iron sharpens iron.
    Your smile warms my heart .❤️ And your positive outlook in circumstances is encouraging.

  119. Christine Murphy July 21, 2018 at 2:35 pm #

    Liz, your words have planted a seed that I need to be brave and follow through with a prompting to speak with my sister about a difficult truth that she needs to hear. I believe that my sister has a problem with alcohol, that is impacting her daily functioning and her health. I feel her drifting away from our relatonship and I am hesitant to speak the truth to her and risk alienating her from me. As her older sister, I know she admires me, so I do not want this confrontation to crush her spirit and her self esteem. It is my only desire to tell her that I love her and to get her the help she needs. Thank you for your encouragement for me to be brave and trust that God will be there to help me have this difficult conversation and He will carry her through the process.

  120. Martha T. July 21, 2018 at 3:07 pm #

    Thank you for this very insightful post!

  121. Julie B July 21, 2018 at 3:07 pm #

    I badly needed sharpening today — my focus was completely wrong, and God let me know it through your words today. Thank you for ‘ironing’!

  122. Barbara Bailey July 21, 2018 at 3:10 pm #

    This is what happened to me this past week. I was whining to a friend asking her to pray for my situation- slow house renovations, of all things, poor me (not). She replied gently, but directly, “ with all the scripture verses you have written on the studs (that we need to cover with drywall) in your house about God’s goodness…. BELIEVE what you wrote, sister!!” Ouch! But she was so right! So no whining. Only gratitude- to Him! Thank you for your faithfulness in writing, Liz. May you always be Heaven-blessed!

  123. Julie B July 21, 2018 at 3:20 pm #

    Liz, I especially liked the following: “Our goal as believers is to hone one another so we become sharper and more effective in our faith. People opposed to God may “sharpen their tongues like swords” (Psalm 64:3), but those of us who love Him are called to “improve each other” (NCV). May I be a good Christian example to others as others have been to me.

  124. Penni Rogers July 21, 2018 at 3:28 pm #

    Beautiful words. Thank you. A fresh perspective.

  125. Susan July 21, 2018 at 3:43 pm #

    I think I usually hide rom the file. Maybe it is time to be bold, brace up and accept some sharpening.

  126. Marla Lewis July 21, 2018 at 4:49 pm #

    We can’t go back to each time we were offended and change how we reacted. However, we can go forward in hopes to grow and be sharpened from our relationships!

  127. [email protected] July 21, 2018 at 4:54 pm #

    How true-do any of us need more stuff! Yet I’m always looking!
    I just love all the beautiful flowers on your posts. God has provided every thing we need-why can’t we be satisfied!
    So glad you are doing well. PTL Shiela

  128. Joy Davis July 21, 2018 at 4:56 pm #

    Thank you so much Liz for this wonderful message of “Iron sharpens Iron”. I have just returned from volunteering for a week at Explorer girl Camp where we had 35 staff ( all women ) and 75 girls. I am a support aide for an autistic 5th grader so she can be a part of a wonderful Christian Camp geared to help her grow in her walk with our wonderful Father. I also mentored a young high school junior ( for the past 2 years I have been her mentor ). She is a part of the Junior Leader Program that teaches young women to be counselors and camp staff, and to serve God in the way He leads us. She graduated last night and I got to give her a charge and a challenge. This was just a reinforcement of what he taught the girls all week. Thank you again for the wonderful messages you write for all us.

  129. Shlela July 21, 2018 at 4:58 pm #

    oops-filed it out wrong-the e-mail filled in automatically-my fault!

  130. Carron Nevill July 21, 2018 at 5:10 pm #

    As always I love to hear your words of encouragement and your take on the verses of the Bible. I have seen you in person several times and I always take away just what I needed at that time. I love your live events on line as well. Take care dear lady and continue to have great reports from the doctors. Prayers for you continue. As we both know so well, God is good all the time.

  131. [email protected] July 21, 2018 at 5:28 pm #

    Liz you hit it right on the head of the nail because I really needed this.
    My mom recently moved into a nursing home because she has dementia and I’m still killing myself in visiting her everyday in the weak. I tried one day without visiting her but I felt guilty because I’m the one she can count on.
    Today, I visited mom. I didn’t feel good and had to go home.
    She said I looked pale and I should call one of her sisters so I’d get home safely. I didn’t want to call them and I didn’t do it. I told mom that I’d be fine. I don’t have friends because I don’t have time and I don’t have time for me. I need to take care of myself in all ways. I’ve forgotten how good it feels to go to church and be around other believers because I’ve cut that out, too.
    Next week, taking time out to see my doctor about being very tired. I’ll also make an appointment for a mammogram; long over due.
    I need prayers, too, so please pray for me.

  132. Liz T. July 21, 2018 at 5:31 pm #

    Thank you for the pictures of the beautiful roses but more importantly for the timely word from God’s truth! I pray that our words will always be “life giving” and “life bearing!”

  133. MS Barb July 21, 2018 at 5:36 pm #

    Thank you for your words of encouragement! I would love to win a copy of “31 Verses to Write on Your Heart!” It’s been a long time since I’ve memorized new scriptures to incorporate in my prayer life… This book would challenge me! Thanks for an opportunity to win! 🙂

  134. Kathy July 21, 2018 at 5:44 pm #

    Hi Liz , I do the same body shaming thing , I didn’t even know it wasn’t funny, I’m gonna try harder to love and honor the body that God gave me, I’m also going to stop comparing my body to others, thanks for the reminder. Always love your funny and timely post and books

  135. Ginger July 21, 2018 at 6:00 pm #

    Sadly my husband and I are in a season of struggles. As I read your post, a few prayers came to mind. First I pray that God will sharpen us either thru friends or each other. Second I pray God will judge and reveal the thoughts and attitudes of my heart. Finally that my husband and I will improve in our skills to open up to one another and spend more time face-to-face, present and engaged in one another.
    Praising God for the update on your health! Love In Him, Ginger

  136. Mary Rummel July 21, 2018 at 6:02 pm #

    This hit me about things my husband may say about what I have on etc.
    Thanks for reminding me that words from a ‘friend’ are meant to help.

  137. Una Ireland July 21, 2018 at 6:06 pm #

    My Bible Study table ladies are like iron sharping iron. We are able to talk to each other in a heartfelt way and are able to exhort each other. We have learned to trust each other and to tell each other the truth.

    I would love to win this book and share it with my friends.

  138. Susan G. July 21, 2018 at 6:24 pm #

    I loved this post today Liz! (Of course I love ALL your posts!) 😉 This was confirmation about an email I sent to a loved family member. I wanted to “gently” bring her back to the “right path” God has called her to. The Lord gave me some verses and then the next week a beloved Pastor’s message confirmed what I had heard. I’m praying God’s Word did it’s work in her heart.
    This post said it all so perfectly, how we are to use the Sword of the Spirit just so. To help change the heart, not cut in in two!
    I can’t say enough how much I love to read your wise words, devour your books, and listen to your podcasts! 😉
    If I win your wonderful devotional, I am passing it on to my beautiful granddaughter who is going through a very difficult and stressful season. I already own this great devotional! 😉
    Much love to you Liz!
    So grateful to hear how wonderfully God has healed you!

  139. Liz morton July 21, 2018 at 6:37 pm #

    We certainly do need friends to encourage us and also to push us toward better choices and a more Godly attitude. I had to think about the donation rather than a gift but realize we don’t need more stuff but others have so many needs. Thanks for the reminder that giving is better.

  140. Bonnie Wheeler July 21, 2018 at 6:49 pm #

    I was so blessed by your blog th hi morning and would love to win a copy of your book. I am generously sized and there are lots of people who trample but very few role models for acceptance like you. Blessings

  141. Linda McFarland July 21, 2018 at 6:54 pm #

    We do need those to encourage us and be honest. My husband and mom do that for me. I am blessed. Thanks for your words of encouragement and honesty and for the opportunity to win! Blessings!

  142. Beverly Allen July 21, 2018 at 6:54 pm #

    Liz,
    These comments and ideas are true, but so tough to
    practice and live out.
    Recently my grown daughter has “lovingly” pointed
    out to me some of my faults and imperfections. These
    are difficult to digest, but she does it to “sharpen” me
    and help me become a better Christian woman. I
    appreciate the fact that she has my best interests at
    heart and is willing to be the “iron” I need.
    It is always easier to become defensive and retaliate
    when confronted. I pray that I can, with God’s grace,
    accept the “love.”

  143. Annette July 21, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

    I iron clothes everyday. Faithful are the wounds of a friend.

  144. Carole Chapman July 21, 2018 at 7:38 pm #

    Liz, I used to use your videos in my adult Sunday school class. The ladies loved your special style of presenting The Good News. We laughed so hard and learned so much. Unfortunately, I no longer teach that class since my church no longer exists and the women attend different churches now… and some have passed. But reading your devotions and books bring back so many warm thoughts and memories … and lots of smiles. Thank you.

  145. Kathy Fevig July 21, 2018 at 7:52 pm #

    Dear Liz I’m using your series Bad Girls of the Bible in the jail each week I go into the Porter County Jail and do Bible studies. I’v been doing it for about 16 years. The girls really love your DVDs this is my second time using your material and I keep learing each time I share them. Your book with these is really good also Unfortunatly I only have 1 so I share as much as I can from the book. May God bless all that you do. In His name Kathy Fevig

  146. Kathy Fevig July 21, 2018 at 7:54 pm #

    Dear Liz I’m using your series Bad Girls of the Bible in the jail each week I go into the Porter County Jail and do Bible studies. I’v been doing it for about 16 years. The girls really love your DVDs this is my second time using your material and I keep learing each time I share them. Your book with these is really good also Unfortunatly I only have 1 so I share as much as I can from the book. May God bless all that you do.

  147. Laura Whitson July 21, 2018 at 8:04 pm #

    This encourages me to watch my words. When someone says something hurtful to me I must practice self-control. I need to measure my words before I respond.
    I’m thankful that you’re feeling better.
    Thank you for this chance to win!
    God bless you.

  148. Beverly July 21, 2018 at 8:45 pm #

    Yes iron sharpens iron. It is so important to have an accountability person that keeps you on track that shares in love what you need to hear.

  149. Darleen Newman July 21, 2018 at 8:47 pm #

    Thank you so much for those timely (on everyone’s clock) words. I’m sure we have all experienced the using of those tools in the correct way, and maybe in the wrong way too.

    Thinking about all our visits to Landis Valley Museum Harvest days and watching the blacksmith as he heated, hammered, put in the water, hammered some more and filed the metal.

    I thought of that scripture of what it had to go through to be shaped into a usable item. Such a huge process and then come out with a horseshoe. Really, all that for that? I could almost imagine the Lord saying, “yes dear, even a small thing is used for My purpose.”

  150. JoAnne Blackford July 21, 2018 at 9:21 pm #

    Great words. Often think of iron sharpening iron, as sparring, but
    your exposition speaks of the tenderness. Love the pictures of the
    roses…
    Takes courage…to speak the truth in love.

  151. Romie Phillips July 21, 2018 at 10:41 pm #

    It’s nice that others see us in a light that we don’t see ourselves. It shows that we are a light in the world,and it also encourages us when others tell us our positive influence that we have with others. It also helps us not to be to hard on our judgement of the way we look, think and talk. So, if we’re fluffy we’re not fat, if our thoughts are in one direction, it doesn’t mean the other way of thinking is wrong and if we talk like a southern, y’all are all welcome to come right in and join us. Looked your fresh train thought. You always left me up.

  152. Christina Hall July 21, 2018 at 11:05 pm #

    I’m so thankful for my friends! But mostly thankful for the Soul Sisters. I am so privileged to have them in my life. They are not like my blood sisters as they are truly spiritual & soul relations. Each one of them plays a special role. I am blessed that they are honest, caring, & compassionate with me. We speak truth to each other and we speak love to each other. Thank you for reminding me of my blessings in these three beautiful sisters.

  153. Carolyn Injoy July 22, 2018 at 2:52 am #

    Beautifully written and the rose photographs enhance each word. Thank you for sharing this. It touched my heart in many ways.

  154. Carol July 22, 2018 at 3:40 am #

    Yes! O Lord,may the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be pleasing in Your sight,for You, O Lord,are our Rock and our Redeemer…Continue to give Liz wisdom sent from You above, that will heal,deliver,comfort,encourage one’s heart and spirit…strengthen what You have done…continue to be her Strong Tower where she runs to and is safe…continue to send her helpers,sisters and brothers in the Lord,that loves her,cares about her,that encourages her heart and spirit as she journeys on in that high calling that you have called for her do in Christ Jesus…Bless her…Bless Your Beloved Daughter…

  155. Laurie July 22, 2018 at 3:52 am #

    This post hit me where I needed it. I have been struggling with where I am in this season of my life and drawing away from people who “tell you like it is”. I love the part where u said “her words were meant to help and to heal. And if it came from God it would do both”. Something I need really to think about. I thank you for your words each time and pray for you continued health and healing.

  156. Loretta July 22, 2018 at 5:04 am #

    “Instead of cutting in two, open gently”
    Seems so relevant in today’s discourse, any discourse. It is a good reminder for me, for all of God’s children to look to our Spirit for guidence before speaking.

  157. Lisa July 22, 2018 at 5:18 am #

    Thank you Liz for allowing His light and love to shine through you. My friends help keep me grounded and give me a holy ghost kick in the pants when I need one. We are accountable to each other and I am grateful to God for the gift of friends. I love the insights He gives you. Keep on pressing on girl! Praying for you!

  158. Trina July 22, 2018 at 5:21 am #

    Kind words leave a mark; sharpened words of wisdom light a spark! Many friends tell me like it is and I have learned to appreciate their words and their wisdom. I need it. I am grateful for my friends and my God!

  159. Linda Blankenship July 22, 2018 at 5:57 am #

    Ooh, even as a missionary, words from others that were meant to be said in love and HELP me, were taken by me in the wrong way. Oh, God, thank you for these sisters right here beside me that love me enough to “hone” me with their words of love..and thank you for sending this (and me READING it thoroughly ) message from Liz today!! Your timing is perfect!

  160. Cindy July 22, 2018 at 6:41 am #

    Liz, this so resonates within my heart & brain! It seems we have lost our way with face-to-face communication, the sweetness of a moment or two shared over coffee or tea rather than text or email….I’m on board with getting back to ‘visitation’. Having recently experienced the loss of my husband (42 1/2 years together) it was much sweeter having someone drop by with a sweet hug. Thank you for sharing Godly wisdom once again.

  161. Robin T. July 22, 2018 at 6:59 am #

    I recently had hip replacement surgery, resulting in an ugly 8 inch scar on my outer thigh. It was a wound that was good for me, though, because it was the first indicator of healing. Wounds that are good for us are wounds that hurt for a bit but lead us to better health. Sure, it hurt but it was the healing pain that I knew would eventually fade and my leg would be good again, maybe even better than before. The same is true in relationships. A true friend won’t deceive us, won’t tell us things we want to hear just to make us feel better. A true friend will tell us the truth always. A true friend may see that we have a need for healing or rescue. A true friend will work to veer us out of the way of anything that could potentially harm us. A true friend isn’t really interested in tickling our ears. A friend who loves us is more concerned with the state of our souls than the condition of our feelings. A true friend always wants the best for us, and that might mean a bit of pain in order to get to the healing.

    It makes sense that God would place those friends in our lives who are purposed to be the iron. They are the ones who will stand true in relationship, even if it means there could be some purposeful discomfort involved. I am so grateful for these dear ones who will always speak the truth in love, the ones who sharpen me, the ones who want the best for me, the ones who keep me rooted and grounded, the ones who will always love despite the times I can be unlovely.

  162. Anna July 22, 2018 at 7:02 am #

    Thank you Liz, this is a wonderful illustration of the potency in our words!! It’s easy for us to forget the power in our words, the positive or negative influence they can have – especially as our culture is waiving face-to-face interaction in favor of online communication. May we strive to remember our words do matter! Blessings to you Liz!

  163. Julie Livingston July 22, 2018 at 7:14 am #

    I think we all need good friends to help make us better children of God, as long as we do it in a loving and nurturing way.
    I know I do.
    Words can build us up or tear us down.
    Build a fire in our heart or put it out.
    ( I love the song by Hawk Nelson) and it’s so true.
    But we should always speak with love in our hearts.
    Lord always soften the words that slip from my tongue and use them to encourage and enlighten.

  164. Nancy Larson July 22, 2018 at 7:19 am #

    Thank you Liz this is so timely as I need to speak the truth in love to a friend. Please pray that we can sharpen each other and that we can grow in our relationship as sisters in Christ.
    Blessings,

  165. Ann July 22, 2018 at 7:46 am #

    So much good stuff here, Liz! The thing I’m most thankful for is your friends telling you no more self degrading talk 😁. The roses are absolutely beautiful.
    I bought the kindle ‘31 verses’ and would love a hard copy to give to a friend…thank you for offering the give-aways!
    Glad you’re mending well…God bless and keep you.
    Oh, my special verse is “In Him I live and move and have my being” Acts 17:28a

  166. Carmen July 22, 2018 at 8:13 am #

    Always encouraged by your posts…and the roses!
    Praying for you.

  167. Denise Nesbitt July 22, 2018 at 8:34 am #

    Love your description of a sharpen sword needing to be gentle and the process of improving a friend, gently, not with a machete! Thanks !
    Denise

  168. Shirley Mosher July 22, 2018 at 10:24 am #

    So much of this devotional touched my heart. I’ve been busy and have lost touch with God’s word—-not Him but no time in his word. (How have I gone on with it?). With my busyness, I’ve lost touch with friends. But most of all I have an 18 year old grand daughter who doesn’t follow the Lord—-who has sent messages, “ want to go to lunch or dinner,”. Me—“ yes, next week when I have more time.” Next week comes and goes. When we are together, we talk, smile, giggle, and have facial expressions that are so fun. At our last lunch we cried about when she slept with my mom who asked her to because having just lost my dad, in 80 years of her life she had never slept alone. What a joy Gods word , family , and friends are. Time to get back into His word and time for me to get my sword out and use it with love and compassion…and joy !!

  169. Bonnie July 22, 2018 at 10:26 am #

    Love you Liz,
    enjoyed hearing you at our, Yahweh sisterhood book club, (even with tech difficulties).. look forward to seeing you in Mishawaka, Indiana on Nov. 3, 2018.
    Thank-you for all you do and God Bless you and Bill..

  170. LaNell July 22, 2018 at 10:30 am #

    Your emails are like mini vacay! The glorious photos scattered among the text allow me to rest among the beautiful handiwork of our Lord. The calmness makes concentrating on scripture seem like it entering my heart by osmosis of serenity. Thank you my friend. I listen to your as I fall asleep at night…it takes several nights to complete as your voice is the hear before drifting off to a restful sleep-a good thing!

  171. Martha July 22, 2018 at 3:26 pm #

    Thanks for all your thoughts. Your posts always bring a smile to my face.

  172. Barbara Wiginton July 22, 2018 at 3:32 pm #

    Liz, I recently experienced a friend’s “ironing” my actions. She was afraid that I was hurt by her comments. That concern just verified her love for me and strengthened our friendship. I know that we will be able to polish our edges and “shine” for Jesus. So glad to hear that your healing is in God’s Hands.

  173. Nancy Johnson July 22, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    I have Loved you for so many years. I have read your books, gave them to friends, and will see you in Indianapolis in August. Your Bible Studies are fantastic. I have had a sharp tongue in my past, but somehow God has transferred that to “rolling my eyes” My Husband gets the most of the “rolling”… I have a sign that reads “Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes”
    I met you many years ago at a El Paso, Il Plant Women’s Health meeting in Bloomington, Illinois. I try to see you as many times when you are in my area. You are a Godsend to me. I love Laughter and your method of teaching God’s word is such a blessing. God truly had a plan for you to touch so many lives with your special gift.
    We are all so fragile as the flowers in this devotion, but with a sharp mind , we can be strong with Christ in our Hearts….Nancy

  174. Marjorie July 22, 2018 at 4:32 pm #

    I would be pleased to win one of your books Thanks

  175. Celeste July 22, 2018 at 5:06 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this insight. It makes me more appreciative of my friends who speak in truth to make me better. They also welcome my truths for them when needed. It is refreshing to have friends that sincerely want to lift us up no matter how hard it can be. Thank you for such a sweet reminder.

  176. Peggie Cook July 22, 2018 at 5:15 pm #

    This was exactly what I needed today. I’ve really been struggling with some co-workers and have let that somewhat consume me. This verse today brought a very special friend to mind. She has struggled with the loss of her sister over the past month,but she is always available to walk and listen to my problems as I am for her. What a dear friend I have and how blessed I am to know there are people in this world who genuinely care and don’t expect anything in return! Praise God !!

  177. Renee' Bishop July 22, 2018 at 6:06 pm #

    I just love reading your emails. I really need them. You give a spin on how to look at things , with humor. Thank you for all you do. The love you have for our Lord comes shining through you as well as His love for you. Keep going and may you be blessed.
    Renee’

  178. Linda Neely July 22, 2018 at 7:18 pm #

    What a wonderful reminder of how special our relationships with our Christian family. Thank you for the chance to win a copy of your book. Your writing is always on point.

  179. Dee Dee Ball July 22, 2018 at 8:58 pm #

    Sometimes we lose track of face to face conversation. It is time consuming to reach out and it shows someone they are special and that you were thinking of them.

    Thanks for the reminder that sometimes efficient is not always the best method and comfortable isn’t always what God wants us to share.

  180. Diane young July 22, 2018 at 9:10 pm #

    Liz thanks for your words of encouragement. I have a friend dealing with much anger, resentment, and bitterness. In the past I’ve listened but have been afraid to speak boldly to her. I realize now I can speak truth to her in a loving way, as sisters in Christ. God Bless

  181. Lori Lantern July 22, 2018 at 9:12 pm #

    Liz. Hi. First of all you don’t know how thrilled I am on your oncologists report. Secondly our book club Read Bad Girls of the Bible. I was dressed up as the woman on the cover!! As for iron sharpening iron I’ve always felt strongly that people in the church should be the most transparent. I also have learned much when a friend is courageous enough to tell me the truth. Many blessings Lori

  182. Pamela July 22, 2018 at 9:15 pm #

    Beautiful roses and love the words God has spoken through you. Continued prayers and blessings to you.

  183. Debbie July 23, 2018 at 1:58 am #

    Proverbs 27:6. I can trust the wounds of a friend. I need to see them from God for my good.

    Thank God for your improving health

  184. Malia July 23, 2018 at 4:44 am #

    Lovely! This is such an encouragment to stay in a community of believers and pursue God and his Word together!

  185. Gayle Hosonitz July 23, 2018 at 6:46 am #

    Thank you so much Liz for this very timely message. Recently a friend confronted me about my words wounding families and ladies in our church causing them to either leave church completely or not come to women’s’ bible study (which I facilitate). My heart wrenched as I recalled Proverbs 29:1 – Whoever remains stiff-necked after many rebukes will suddenly be destroyed—without remedy. This was not the first time I had been confronted regarding this issue. I thought I had repented and was doing better. Pride had blinded me completely. That day I resigned from my position in leadership. I immediately got my hands on a copy of Zip-It by Susan Ehler and took the 40-Day challenge, with my husband being the one to hold me accountable. I am blessed to say that he has seen great change in my word choices and responses to situations after completing the challenge.
    The damage has been done. I have made an effort to contact those whom I have wounded so terribly and ask their forgiveness, however I have not been made aware of who all these folks are. God knows who they are. God knows my heart. He has forgiven me. The past cannot be relived so I am focusing on the road that lies ahead, asking God to keep a bridle on my tongue and a sentry at my lips. There’s still a long way to go on this journey, however there’s also a road behind me in my rear-view mirror and I don’t intend to take any U-turns.

  186. Linda July 23, 2018 at 7:53 am #

    I love this explanation of “iron sharpens iron!” Your devotions continue to teach and inspire me, Liz.
    Thank you.

  187. Laura Snowden July 23, 2018 at 7:55 am #

    When reading the devotions I receive via email, I like to save the best for last. Liz, you never disappoint and always leave my heart uplifted

  188. Linda July 23, 2018 at 7:57 am #

    Thank you so much for your encouraging words today. I have ready “as iron sharpens iron” so many times and your thoughts were so enlightening. Thank you! You are such a blessing and inspiration.

  189. Shelly July 23, 2018 at 8:06 am #

    Thank you for sharing this! I never really understood what “as iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” meant. You are definitely a blessing 🙂

  190. Heather Weaver July 23, 2018 at 9:46 am #

    What an encouraging word to remind us of how important Godly friendships are! Thank you for sharing your heart.

  191. Bernalle July 23, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Liz, I love your writings; you are iron sharpening iron by your very openness. I so long for heart-to-heart friends, yet for whatever reason I’m alone; my own daughter doesn’t want to have a close relationship. The longer I’m alone, the less I know how to be a friend. Thanks for being an email friend.

  192. Penny July 23, 2018 at 11:37 am #

    The photographs of the roses are wonderful and a blessing! I’m glad to hear good news regarding you health and continue to pray for you. It is helpful you had a friend who gave you wise advice.

  193. Michelle Murphy July 23, 2018 at 11:58 am #

    As always, love the combination of genuineness and truth with transparency which invites acceptance. Thank you for using your gift to inspire us!

  194. Kathy Witkowski July 23, 2018 at 12:44 pm #

    Dearest Liz,

    Why is it we can encourage our sisters to own it, but neglect to apply to ourselves?

    I also appreciate your thoughts on a gift given in your name. No I do not need it, and others surely do!

    Thank you for sharing with me!

  195. Janet McFarland July 23, 2018 at 2:26 pm #

    Thank you for the reminder of the importance of friendship and how we can sharpen each other. I’m thankful for being with a group of ladies (we call ourselves The Joy Sisters) who encourage, support & cheer each other on. It is a gift!

  196. Donna Mayfield July 23, 2018 at 5:44 pm #

    Your post always touch my heart. This one was a good one for me as it helped me to let things people say go to the heart and correct something I may take the wrong way. From now on I will remember to think about it before I speak to them about what the person said. They may be right.
    I try to read all of your books. I learn so much from them. They put the words so I can understand them.

  197. Ellen Finnicum July 23, 2018 at 9:52 pm #

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful and thought provoking stories. You lift our spirits and touch our hearts everytime! Thanks and Prayers !

  198. Dawn Smith July 24, 2018 at 8:30 am #

    Hey Liz! I have just now gotten time to read this!(I have 5 young children!) I absolutely love it! We need to be “sharpening” each other, not tearing each other down. I love the book of James and how it talks about our tongues being used for good and bad and how we need to bridle them. We tear people down so much and sometimes we do not even realize how bad. We need to really start thinking about ways and words that we can use to “sharpen” each other instead of dulling” each other.

    P.S. I love getting your encouraging emails and I would love to have your book!!

  199. Brenda Williams July 24, 2018 at 9:20 am #

    I’m a little late getting to read this, but, you are so right! Friends should help us to better ourselves. I always gain so much from your thoughts.
    Thanks again. God bless you.
    I already own the book, but, would share if I won. 🙂

  200. Ailsa Blunk July 24, 2018 at 9:31 am #

    In this current atmosphere within our country where people are so quick to pierce each other with their words, these words of yours bring comfort to me. These words of scripture also remind me how the words of our mouth and the meditations of our heart need to be acceptable to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thanks for sharing!

  201. Barb B. July 24, 2018 at 11:06 am #

    Thank you for such “words fitly spoken”~~as I’d been asked by a dear friend to pray with her about a situation involving a family member of hers~ I sensed the Lord nudge me to “speak the truth in love” to her about the way she is treating her loved one and he probably feels like it is “very controlling and disrespectful” versus coming from the heart of love I know that it comes from. Instead of her being quiet before the Lord and trusting HIM to change the heart of this loved one, she is manipulating and trying to change his mind to do things the way she thinks it needs to be done. I believe now that I can truly speak from a heart of love, in a way that will not offend my friend and maybe she can release this burden and lay it at the feet of Jesus instead of trying to “fix it” her way and damaging this relationship!

  202. Patricia July 24, 2018 at 11:10 am #

    I was so blessed to share this timely message with a dear friend on sabbatical from the mission field in the Czech Republic. Thank you for your wisdom and sharing your talents.

  203. Mary F. Bryan July 24, 2018 at 11:18 am #

    Thanks for your timely word of encouragement and teaching. I needed it today.

  204. Cheri Wallace July 24, 2018 at 1:28 pm #

    Hi Lizzy,
    So happy and grateful you are healing, & feeling well! God is so good! I believe that when you are truly friends & in the Lord, the truth helps you to be a better person, & friend. We all need to be “sharpened” when we become complacent or “dull”. You are a beautiful woman—your size is not an issue! Me, personally, I struggle with being enough, and doing things right. I grew up with being told things weren’t done good enough. However, God has always put wonderful mentors & friends in my life who were honest & gave me the truth…even when I didn’t want to hear it! Thank you for being YOU! For sharing the knowledge you have gained with his guidance. Enjoy listening to you teach!
    In Christ, Cheri

  205. Norma F. Powell July 24, 2018 at 1:40 pm #

    Sometimes when friends say or write things to me I am left feeling hurt or despondent. But I have learned to pray about the situation and turn it over to God. I can’t change my heart or the situation, but he can.

  206. Pam July 24, 2018 at 1:59 pm #

    I, too, have wondered what “iron sharpens iron” really meant. Seems there are several steps to the process, each one different. One sharp and perhaps painful. One soothing (oil). Thank you for writing on this topic. I need to read it again to learn it better. You are always timely to what I need to hear.

  207. Melanie Greene July 24, 2018 at 3:24 pm #

    I love your comment about how our faces talk too! Oh, the expressions we get to see when we are face to face. So thankful for your great medical report!

  208. Sandy in Iowa July 24, 2018 at 4:47 pm #

    I found this blog to be one of Liz’s best. Great insights into iron sharpening iron and how those near us need to help that along. I didn’t realize that making fun of your own body size was seen as a negative by some–that opened my eyes. And such a great reminder that face to face communication is so important–indeed our expressions ‘say’ so much. The beautiful roses interspersed throughout the words made this a truly enjoyable read.

  209. Kelly July 24, 2018 at 8:18 pm #

    Those roses are the most beautiful roses ever!! My mother who passed away in January loved the Peace Rose, (the peachy one). You have such a way of making one think. My mom, grandma and aunt spoke very honestly and jolted you to the less selfish side of life. The verse …so one person sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17, really spoke to me. Thanks for your words of wisdom!!

  210. Rae Urban July 24, 2018 at 8:54 pm #

    This post was so timely. This past weekend I was together with my Christian girlfriends and brought up a family issue my husband and I are dealing with. They gave me their thoughts and it wasn’t exactly what I wanted to hear. Initially I thought “they just don’t get it”, but after reading your post and reflecting on their comments, I realized their words were Godly words that only TRUE friends in Christ would say out of love. I thank and praise God for my friends and your post!

  211. Lana M. Shaddix July 24, 2018 at 9:51 pm #

    Good Morning My Christian Sister,

    As I open your email, the most beautiful roses just pop out. What a beauty that our God gives us in roses!

    As I read the message this thought occurred to me. God gave us a mighty sword (our mouth) which we can use or abuse our words for Him or against Him. He gave us a face that can darken or lighten anyone that we come in contact with.

    It is all left up to us and how we either love our God and turn our backs on Him.

    Praise our Father for our blessings that He gives us.

    Thank you for your ministry by touching and teaching others the Love of God.

    May God Bless You,

    Lana M. Shaddix

  212. Patti Skean July 25, 2018 at 12:14 am #

    Liz, Thank you for these comments and beautiful roses. I have been a fan of yours for a long time. Today I am visiting family and missing all things Christian so this really touched my heart. Bless you! ~ Patti

  213. Cathy July 25, 2018 at 8:29 am #

    Love your friends encouragement to own your body. All women need those friends. Super excited to read the next “Bad Girls” book!

  214. Deana Smith July 25, 2018 at 10:13 am #

    Thank you for these comments and the photos of beautiful roses.

  215. Beth Harkins July 25, 2018 at 6:44 pm #

    Always enjoy you emails; left my oncologist behind about 9 yrs ago–praying same for you!! After my kidneys failed I had to get established with a nephrologist who put me on a high protein diet. Lost 30 lbs & hoped to have more energy. On dialysis now 3 x wk. Still waiting for that ENERGY but am doing a little better now, applying for a transplant @ age 76–don’t expect to get one because my precious UPTAKER is coming soon! Will be great to meet YOU up there with HIM someday. LOVE @ PRAYERS.

  216. Martine Bykowski July 27, 2018 at 10:44 am #

    Thank you for sharing the process to sharpen iron. How interesting! It puts that scripture verse in a whole new light!
    I appreciate your openness and honesty about learning to accept your body size. That was something I needed.

  217. Lisa Wellhausen July 27, 2018 at 12:16 pm #

    Love this book and this study. It is so important to keep Gods word in our hearts!

  218. Barb Gibson July 27, 2018 at 2:28 pm #

    Dear Liz,I look forward to reading your new book. I am rather lost ,and broken down right now.I Lost my husband,the love of my life for 28 years. He died in March. My whole life was wrapped up in caring for him and now, I am so very lonely and I don’t understand why God did not heal him. What does God want with me that he didn’t want Doug to be a part of? I miss him so,so much,My heart aches for him. I need to be loved,wanted and needed.

  219. Miriam Ayala July 29, 2018 at 7:06 am #

    Liz,
    So grateful to 😇 for your gift to us women!
    Our community center has almost completed a summer Bible Study 📖 “Bad Girls of the Bible “ 32 lovely ladies in attendance to gain wonderful prospective on 😇 word.
    We have added your 📖 to our tool shed to better understand some of the Bible heroines!
    Blessings and great health being 🙏🏽 Your way!
    Miriam Ayala

  220. Nancy Criss August 3, 2018 at 8:25 am #

    Liz,
    So blessed to hear you and study with you. I start Chemo and radiation on 8/6/2018 and begin my journey . I have a great church family and Husband taking care of me but I needed to fill my soul with God so I have started studying with you Bad Girls of the Bible and I love it.

    Blessings to you

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