Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful. As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:6, 17
What is the purpose of sparring? It is to practice, to sharpen your skills. It is also to build up resistance, and learn how to move. By sparring with a friend, you learn offense and defense. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. Can it hurt at times? You bet. But, it is critical that you know who you are fighting alongside of. You must know his strengths. You must know that you can trust him to cover you when under fire. You must know that he will take a bullet for you. And he must know all the same about you.
We push each other, spur each other on to growth, engagement and strength. We pull each other into honesty, vulnerability and authenticity. We take our shirts off and tell the stories of each scar. These stories serve to build each other up, and to remind each other of the victories our great Commander has secured. What warrior doesn’t have scars? What soldier has no wounds? Once we engage in the Army of the Lord, we are guaranteed to encounter enemy fire. Shoulder to shoulder we work, we live, and we fight.