As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.
Proverbs 27:17 NLT
As you know by now I have been immersed in thoughts on community lately and this scripture came to mind the other day. Obviously this is a community type passage. It uses imagery to explain how we can grow from our exposure to each other and influence from friends. A few things occurred to me as I pondered this verse.
- In the process of sharpening, parts of the item that is being sharpened are removed.
So if we relate this to being in community or in relationship with one another than that means you don’t get to stay the same and in fact that you will lose something. I think this means the things that make us dull or not as sharp are slowly ground off of us. Bad habits, poor choices, repeated behaviours, negative thought patterns are a few of the things that may be removed in this process. But you could also lose things that you once considered good. As we are exposed to each other we are inevitably exposed to each others opinions and understandings. We learn from each and grow in our understanding and we can begin to lose some of the things we thought we had all figured out, for example.
2. This verse talks about friends sharpening friends.
This means to me that this process of sharpening doesn’t just happen with anyone in your life. This speaks to a more involved and ongoing process. This verse specifies friends and to me that means that the result from this process won’t just happen with minor interactions with people. It won’t happen when you sit next to someone on the bus tomorrow or stand behind someone in the line up at the store. The kind of change this verse speaks about comes only from relationship.
3. The change is permanent.
You can’t “unsharpen” a knife. Once it has been sharpened it is no longer the same knife that it was when you started.
If you are wondering if iron really does sharpen iron, like I was, here is a link from people who know way more about this topic than I do: https://top.quora.com/Metallurgy-Does-iron-really-sharpen-iron
Thank you for coming with me while I dove deeper into this passage. I love going deeper into the Word, the treasures I find are always truly wondrous and impactful.
Please let me know what you think in the comments. Sharpen me!
I pray this makes you think and that you encounter your Creator today.
This is where I got the pic: http://www.wacmm.org/JoppaISI.html