Scripture: Proverbs 27:17
New King James Version:
As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
The Message Bible:
You use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another.
There are many times I have walked down the streets of San Francisco and seen men that seem to be searching for answers, wondering what tomorrow will bring, not certain that they will see the end of the day they are walking through. They have so many choices to make minute by minute, second by second. It’s no wonder we find our young men caught in the trappings of the enemy. And not all the time that enemy is the devil, often times we are our own worst enemy.
Without the presence of God in our lives we too will find ourselves walking in these same shoes. Without people in my life giving me sound advice and pointing me to God, where would I be? I thank God for bringing me this far. God has placed me among powerful men of God to sharpen me for this place he has taken me too.
In this passage of scripture it talks about how to sharpen iron. You must first know what materials you are working with to determine the tools needed to sharpen it. There are certain materials that you might try to use that won’t get the job done. So, the first thing we must do is analyze the item that we are sharpening.
Therefore, let’s take a look at iron.
Definition of Iron: Great hardness or strength: firmness.
In order for iron to become iron it has to go through a process of intense heat usually done in a furnace. It becomes a liquid form and is poured into molds to format shapes and sizes. When I think about the sharpening process of iron, the bible says it takes iron to sharpen iron. So there is no need to reinvent the process, it takes iron to sharpen iron. Nothing else used will get the job done. It takes iron.
So, the B part of verse 27:17 says and one friend sharpening another which simply means, it takes another man to sharpen a man. Men can relate to men in a way that opens up areas of their lives that need to be worked on. To be sharpened is to be made ready for service. It is to go through the fiery furnaces of life not knowing what the outcome will be. Only with God can a man have the assurance that he can come out not even smelling like smoke. Developing faith in God is the key ingredient for our furnace experiences. The three Hebrew boys demonstrated the kind of faith that is needed to survive a consuming fire.
To be sharpened is a painful process. It requires intense heat being applied in some cases and others it is the process of rubbing two pieces of metal together in a precise consistent motion. Another is to heat in a furnace and use a mallet to beat it into shape and create a sharp edge.
Most men have to be put through the fiery furnaces of life; jail, prison, drugs, etc. Others have to go through the heating and beating process being made to confirm to the image that God wants them to become. I believe that God will use men as the tool to rub up against other men to sharpen them for his use. Men that carry the spirit of God, that walk in a level of integrity. Men that want change, that are looking for something to hold on to that will not change or reject them. Men that need something or someone that will meet them wherever they are in their walks of life. That someone is Jesus Christ. Developing Godly relationships will be a part of the sharpening process. Men helping other men find their way back to the father.
Each man (iron) should find another man (iron) and rub up against him, let’s see what happens.
-Freddie Carter Sr.