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Proverbs 27 v 17 – “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another”


What does this bible verse mean and how is it relevant to us as men today?

To understand this properly, we need to get a bit scientific. If you take two pieces of metal with identical chemical properties and identical shape and rub them against each other, not a great deal happens to either piece apart from a minimal amount of smoothing and wear. The real change happens when each piece has a different composition such as one being harder than the other. When this happens each piece when brushed together correctly will grind away any rough or damaged edges and form two sharp edges, capable of efficiently and effectively cutting through things with ease. 

This principle is the same for us as Men of God. I may be struggling to understand or deal with an issue and while choosing to spend time with a friend who has the same struggle may make us feel a bit better at first, we’re more likely to form a “pity party” than we are to discover the truth we need in order to break free. If, on the other hand, I choose to share my struggle with a friend who is clearly walking free from these issues, I am more likely to be sharpened by the wisdom and truth that God has given him and ultimately break free from my struggle. 

The Bible is very clear that we are made in The Image of God and as such, we are designed to have fellowship with each other (Genesis 2 v 18). There are also numerous references where we are told the importance of not trying to live life on our own, but instead we are told to encourage, forgive, submit to, build up, love, challenge, support and carry each other. It’s when we truly embrace this lifestyle that those currently outside of God’s family will begin to truly see Him in us in a relevant and exciting way (John 13 v 35). 

It’s good to remember that we can be strong in some areas and weak in others and so can both build up AND be built up, sometimes with the same person! 

So the challenges to us are –
*Who do I see that can help me gain the revelation from God that I need in order to break through my struggles, fears and weaknesses and become the man that God has created me to be?
*Who can I offer help to, based on the strengths God has blessed me with, so that they too can gain victory over these things? 

Ecclesiastes 4 v 9&10 “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble”