(Proverbs 27:17 KJV) Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
In Proverbs, context is not as important as the rest of scripture. Yet, it is interesting to note that this verse is in the context of the contentious wife. If you don’t have one I am sure you have seen other wives who are that way. One of the temptations we have is to be contentious right back. We ignore Jesus telling us to turn the other cheek. We forget that love suffers long. We don’t stay sharp by lashing back.
You sharpen an edge by not cutting. You dull a knife when you use it as intended. Think about the process. With a stone you scrape off minute amounts of metal. With a honing rod you straighten the edge. Barbers used to use a leather strap for the final touch. In none of those examples do you meet head on.
So? As much as we want to respond to attacks we need to understand that it will dull our spiritual life. Sure a knife needs to cut meat and wood but it also needs to be re-edged or it will be useless. Find someone who sharpens you.