Iron Sharpens Iron
Watching Danny work in his shop is one of the most fascinating things ever. He has the tools he needs, he knows how to use them and the finished product is always a work of art. And sometimes I even get to help — handing, holding and running for things as necessary. I'm a great assistant, if I do say so myself.
One of my favorite tools is the sharpener. (It may have a more technical name, but please forgive me for not knowing it.) The sparks fly and the loud noise lets Danny know that the blade he is working with is losing that dull edge. Soon it will cut like a knife through butter, and he will be able to cut more effectively.
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. Proverbs 27:17
We’re always telling the teens in our youth group that you will become the people you hang around with, for better or worse. They (and we) have to be so careful about the friends and acquaintances we spend time with because they will and do eventually rub off on us.
In the worst of ways, this rubbing off will direct us down a path God never intended for us to travel. Phrases like “just this once,” “no one will know” and “what’s the big deal” become commonplace. Pleasing the Lord is converted to pleasing yourself, and secrets replace the truth of God’s word.
In the best of ways, this rubbing off will sharpen our own dull edges. Godly Christian friends can love, encourage and support us when we need it most. They challenge us to be more than who we are, and they give us courage to live each and every day for Christ. In this way we are all improved, wiser and always pointed toward the Lord.
This week, I pray that we will all surround ourselves with people who want to sharpen us for the days ahead. Their influence can change our countenance in ways we never imagined, and we’ll be prepared to pass that sharpened blade on to others as God places them in our path.