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This concept takes the wise principle of being sharpened by one another and develops what it means to be sharpened? What it takes to be Sharpened? and what are some different models to be Sharpened?

As Iron Sharpens Iron Proverbs 27:17-19


Have you ever tried to use a knife or pair of scissors only to find that they wouldn’t cut? It was probably

frustrating – the problem: they needed to be Sharpened! Our passage today has a Biblical principle that

teaches us how to be Sharpened! As Iron Sharpens Iron, so one man Sharpens another (Read Proverbs

27:17). Now Proverbs is a book about Wise sayings and how important it is to be Wise. It is written

primarily as a way to guide, instruct and influence Solomon’s Sons, and yet all people to live fully in the

Lord. You will find general sayings of wisdom and truth to live with; integrity, honesty, morally and in

relationship with your spouse, children, friends, neighbors, your enemies, business associates – and of

course the Lord! In fact, Prov. 1:7; "The Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge…........" Prov. 9:10;

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." So

these Wise sayings begin with us being in relationship with the Lord. So what do we learn about this Wise

Saying and the Principle of how we can be Sharpened?

We learn what it means to be Sharpened! Just as a knife that is not Sharp isn’t productive, useful, or

helpful, ready, - so to be Sharpened as a Man is to be Ready for life, Useful, helpful and productive in life

and society. It reflects the fullness of life: physical, emotional, social, as well as Spiritual. The Word –

Chadah means to make glad, joined together, sharpened, to grow. So to be Sharpened is to be ready,

useful, and productive in life and society – it means to be joined together and grow to meet the challenges

in life and even ready for Eternal life, through faith in Jesus Christ. The Principle is clear: Just as Iron

sharpens Iron – so we sharpen or Influence someone to: prepare, make glad, useful, productive and

growing in every area of life. We learn the Process of Sharpening in life. What does it take? Intention –

Just as Iron has the purpose of sharpening Iron, so we must be Intentional about sharpening One Another.

We need to seek those who can Sharpen us and we need to intentionally seek those whom we

can Sharpen in life too. Intention also identifies our True Purpose. What is our Intention in Sharpening

another person? The Intention according to Scripture is to help a person become complete and ready in

every area of Life. Jesus is an example – Luke 2:52; Jesus grew in wisdom, stature and in favor with both

God and Man. I.E. He grew (He was Sharpened) in Wisdom, Physically, Spiritually and Socially! What a

great Intention we should have in Sharpening others and being Sharpened. The problem is that often we

only focus on one area or we are just haphazard in seeking the Sharpening Process in life.

In Relationship-If I have a Iron Sword and you have an Iron Sword it will never be Sharpened if it isn’t in

Relation to one another. The Sword has to be Present, in Contact with the other Sword in order for it to be

Sharpened. So it is with us too. You can’t truly Sharpen another person if you aren’t together – in Contact

with each other – in Relationship with one another. The Bible Calls this – FELLOWSHIP! Communing with

One another; coming alongside each other. We need each other. It is essential for us and other in the

Sharpening Process! Influence – Iron sharpens Iron as it is in contact– The process of contact Influences

each other and can Sharpen the pieces of Iron. However, in order to really Sharpen and not damage, ruin

or make more dull – the Influence has to be done right. So it is with us. We Sharpen one another by

Influencing each other. But it is also important to Influence one another in a right way. 1Cor. 15:33; “Do

not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.” That is why the Bible calls each of us to Teach,

Encourage, Set an Example, Explain, Exhort, Urge, Spur each other on toward love and good deeds, etc.

The Bible also teaches us to be careful in the words we use the example we set, and what we are

Influencing others toward. The Process of Sharpening one another involves Intention, In Relationship and

Influence. One thing is for certain is that you can’t Sharpen one another by being Indifferent, Independent,

Incognito. We must be Intentional, In Relationship, and Influencing. We learn some Models for Sharpening

the lives of others. The example of Iron sharpening Iron is one example but the Scriptures also

demonstrate for us the process of Sharpening each other. Parents and Children; Dt. 6:6-7; “These

commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk

about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road.” The Proverbs themselves are an

example of a Father influencing – Sharpening his children in life. Friend to Friend; David and Jonathan,

Phillip and Nathaniel, Jesus wants to be our Friend too. Older men with younger men; 1Tim. 5:1, Tit. 2:6-

Older women with younger women, Titus 2:3-4; Teach older women so that they can train the younger

women…- Teachers and students Matt. 28:20a, “teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded

you.” Titus 2:7; “In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In our teaching show integrity,

seriousness and soundness of speech…”- Brothers & Sisters in Christ with other Brothers and sisters in

Christ =Fellowship. Heb. 10:24-25; Let us spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not

give up meeting together as some are in the habit but let us encourage one another and all the more as

you see the Day approaching.” 1Thess. 5:11, “Let us encourage and build one another up…”

In Conclusion: Just as you tried to cut something and found that your knife or scissors were dull. You

Sharpen the instrument and think to yourself – Wow, why didn’t I get this done earlier – this is Great!

Well, that is how it is when we experience Sharpening by those who invest themselves in our lives. It is

the Joy we experience when we Invest our lives to Sharpen another to Grow, become more useful,

capable, and ready for Life: Physically, with Wisdom, Socially and Spiritually! As we learned what it

means to be Sharpened; The Process of being Sharpened (Intention, In Relationship, and Influence) and

the models for Sharpening – I think Paul summed it all up best when he said: “We loved you so much that

we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had

become so dear to us.” (1Thess. 2:8). As we consider this Truth – the Principle of living Wise - ask

yourself the following questions: 1. Who Sharpens You? 2. Who are you Intentionally Sharpening? 3.

What are you being Sharpened/Influenced for life and eternal life? 4. How are you Sharpening /

Influencing others to be ready for life and eternal life?

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