It Takes One to Make One

“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

Proverbs 27:17

In the Old Testament book of Proverbs, King Solomon imparts his wisdom to make the naive nature of youths wise and wise men even wiser. In the depths of his knowledge, given to him by God, Solomon shared these words, “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Now the context of those few words is rich in wisdom, for it speaks directly to the interaction of human relations and how we are to interrelate. The people we interact with contribute to shaping our character, be it good or bad, especially in our youth and as we continue to grow and age.

The global society has lost the capacity to listen to one another. It has become more polarized than ever, with many people driven by hatred for others who disagree with their opinions. As that divide continues to increase, it will lead society to a point where wisdom can no longer flourish and allow people to grow. As followers of Jesus Christ, we should expect such behavior in a fallen, sin-plagued world, but we should never see it in the church. If everyone in a church body only desired to sharpen and never be sharpened, that congregation would stagnate in its spiritual growth and become an ineffective tool in God’s hand.

In as much as we are to disciple others, that is to say, teach them to walk in step with God’s word, we must also be students of God’s word. We are to be ever willing to learn as we seek opportunities to share the gospel and teach others about God’s word and His infinite love. Even a fine sword must be sharpened at some point to retain its usefulness and effectiveness, so it is for every Christian. It takes one to make one or put it another way; while we teach others about God’s word, we must also be the students of someone else who walks in step with the Lord and His word. That’s how we learn and grow closer to God. That’s how we keep the church’s momentum moving forward and always looking up.

Therefore, as we set out each day, let us always seek opportunities to sharpen other believers and allow other believers to sharpen us. Doing so works to keep the church anchored to God’s word and faithful to heed and keep His instructions. It will enable the church, as a whole, to reach greater depths in spiritual growth and become a mighty tool in God’s hand to reach the lost with the good news of Jesus Christ. So, whom will you sharpen today, and better yet, whom will you allow to sharpen you?

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture is taken from the New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

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