Sitting in my husband’s hospital room, I noticed the hand sanitizer unit on the wall and a sticker that says “friction rubs off germs”.
Being the person I am, I thought of a comment I first heard from Dallas Willard and have repeated numerous times since…“transformation only occurs within community”. The two statements are really the same. It takes friction, not just soap and water, to remove germs. It’s the rubbing of the hands against each other that allows the soap and water to do its job and eliminate the germs from the skin that can cause future sickness and disease.
The same is true of personal transformation. It takes the “rubbing” together against each other to stir up the “germs” of offense, jealousy, pride, envy, self-pity, unforgiveness, etc that are present and then with the use of soap and water (Word and Spirit), we can rid ourselves of the nasty attitudes that can lead to future serious problems.
The word of God tells us that we are not to be conformed to this world, but rather to be transformed by renewing our mind in God’s Word. (Romans 12:1-2). We are also told that iron sharpens iron (Prov 27:17), or friends can bring out the best or the worst in each other.
We need each other and we also need the Word and the Spirit to bring cleansing and healing to our life.
So, as friction rubs off germs, interaction with each other rubs off the bumps and warts in our personalities that cause problems. Praise God that He does not allow us to stay in a place of offense, unforgiveness, anger and self pity if we allow Him to “cleanse” us with the washing of His Word and Spirit and rid ourselves from these spiritual germs.
1 John 1:9 (ESV): If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness