Are You Spiritually Sharp?

Scripture: Proverbs 27:17, ‘As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.’


Observations: In the abattoir where I used to work we used a ‘steel’ to sharpen our knives. It only took a few moments of rubbing the knife against the steel to create an edge you could shave with. The point of this proverb is that our lives ought to rub against our friends in order to ‘sharpen’ them. In the context of the book of Proverbs ‘sharpen’ means to impart wisdom for life. Friends are meant to encourage one another to make wise, God-honouring decisions. Earlier in this chapter we read ‘better is open rebuke, than hidden love (v5)’ and ‘wounds from a friend can be trusted. (v6)’ When we truly care for someone we won’t stand silent when we see them doing something foolish or wrong, rather we speak up and encourage them to do the right thing. This concept also applies to marriage where two people come together not just for pleasure, but so that they may become more than they were on their own. The purpose of marriage is to make each other holy, or to sharpen one another.


Application: Who are you sharpening? Are you having a positive, encouraging, God-honouring influence on someone else? Maybe you need to look at who you rub shoulders with, and ask whether you’re rubbing holes in them, or being a positive influence in their life? And who is sharpening you? Who in your life speaks the truth to you in love, rebuking you when you do wrong, and encouraging you to do what is right? If you don’t have anyone, maybe you need to work harder on building high-quality friendships.


Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, the truth is that You are my best friend, You sharpen me through Your Holy Spirit who convicts me of sin and empowers me to live a life that pleases You. But Lord, You also use other people in this process and You want to use me to sharpen others. So Lord, I ask that You give me ears to hear the loving truth from others, and that You give me wisdom and grace as I encourage those I rub shoulders with in life. Lord, don’t allow me to become spiritually dull, but sharpen my life so that I might become an instrument of righteousness. In the name of Jesus I pray. Amen.

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