The Verbs #27 (Sharpen)


“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”
Proverbs 27:17 NLT
When reading through the Bible, one cannot help but see that God certainly designed us for community. It’s become a common theme among churches and church communities to state “we are better together”! That’s exactly the goal that God had in mind. In the first book of the Bible God lays that mantra out!
“Then the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.””
Genesis 2:18 NLT
If you read through the story of creation, after each one God examined it and declared that it was good or very good. However, Adam being created and left in a “single” state, was only the thing God improved on. How did He improve upon it? By creating a help mate, Eve. God believed then and still believes now that we are better together.
When two people are in community, whether that be in a marriage, friendship or business partnership, there is always a little bit of a rub. Two thought processes, different backgrounds, and different life experiences cause this rub to happen. Solomon compares this rub to iron sharpening iron. I don’t know if you’ve ever witnessed iron being sharpened, but there is a whole lot of sparks flying when it happens. The process gets hot, is difficult, but entirely necessary if the iron is going to be effective in its purpose.
A knife that is dull is still a knife. It is just not as effective when it’s dull, as it would be if it were sharp. There is certainly a need for you to be sharp. Often, when we are in community and people get in close quarters including working together, doing ministry together, or being in relationship, sparks can sometimes fly. Usually when that happens, instead of there being a sharpening, there is instead a separation. When we go into community with eyes wide open, we can have a greater understanding about the process. There will be some sparks and some rubs, but it’s all a part of the sharpening, and I believe we would stick together versus falling apart.
When iron sharpens iron, it makes the iron more effective. It also makes the iron that is dull and brightens it. When you are sharpened, you become sharper and you shine brighter.
To be better individually, you must be better about community. Allow iron to sharpen iron, so that you can be more effective and shine brighter for Him!