Have you ever tried to cut a tomato with a dull knife? It can be a frustrating experience. When you are trying to prepare a meal, there is nothing more exasperating that working with a knife that needs sharpening. It’s inefficient. It slows you down. It simply cannot do the job it was designed to do without being sharpened once in a while.
Scripture tells us that we are like that dull knife. We need to be sharpened regularly. How does this happen? God designed us to sharpen each other.
Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
It has been said that iron cannot sharpen iron because they are both the same substance so they are unable to sharp each other. In order to be sharpened, one substance must be stronger than the other. Could it be that we take turns being strong depending on which of us needs sharpening in a given circumstance? I think so.
Do you have people who rub up against your life and sharpen you? I do. Those people are a vital part of my everyday life. They are necessary if I am to keep from becoming the dullest knife in the drawer. If I am to be useful for God’s kingdom, I have to be sharp. When metal rubs up against metal it also shines more. I need to be able to shine for others to see. I need to have a sharp and clean edge so I am useful to God.
To be sharpened in this way we must become vulnerable. We must allow someone to come close enough to touch our lives. We must be willing to feel a little uncomfortable when we experience a bit of friction as our edge is honed.
But it’s well worth it. Find others who are willing to sharpen you when you need it. You will be made more useful to our Lord. You will be the knife he reaches for when he has a job to do because He knows you are one of the sharpest knives in the drawer.