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Bible Reading: Proverbs 27.17

Proverbs 27.17
Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

When we first began attending The Ridge Church years ago as newlyweds, my wife prodded me into attending a small group for young couples (it was called a Sunday School Class back then). After attending sporadically and reluctantly for a few months, the teacher invited me to meet him for breakfast one day before work. I didn’t know what for, but agreed.

As soon as I had finished my IHOP pancakes and confirmed that I was indeed a Christian, his questions began. What time of day did I read the Bible and pray? Who had I shared my faith with lately? What temptation did I struggle with? Who did I meet with for accountability and encouragement as a believer for all of the above? With each contrived answer I manufactured, I grew more agitated. Who was this guy to give me the third degree anyway!

Today’s passage references the process of sharpening an iron tool or sword. By rubbing two iron blades together, both become sharper and more useful. This involves friction, sparks and even the blows of a blacksmith’s hammer. This is how believers are to turn each other into useful tools for our Father’s work, and it obviously involves more than just exchanging compliments and casual fellowship! Earlier in this chapter of Proverbs we read, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6).

I didn’t like how real it got that day at IHOP over breakfast, but that’s exactly what I needed – a brother who cared enough to dig into me a little. I had grown up attending church and was raised in a Christian home, but this was my first encounter with real discipleship. In order to thrive and grow, we’ve got to get honest and direct with each other in love. We met many more times over the next few years, which I now look back on and treasure as the most formative in my walk with Christ.

Memory Verse: Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27.17