Iron sharpens iron, don’t be a docile Christian a blunt knife is still a knife but a less effective tool

Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

I’ve always enjoyed this proverb for several reasons. Most important one for me is that it drives home the point of being on guard and ready to debate and philosophize with our Christian brothers and sisters. Indeed, this could be about everything and anything particularly scripture.

When iron blades are rubbed together, each becomes sharper and thus more effective. Likewise, when believers are involved in one another’s lives, mutual edification occurs.  

There is mutual benefit in the rubbing of two iron blades together; the edges not only become sharper but corrosive rust is removed, making the knives more efficient in their task to cut and slice. 

Don’t be rusty and blunt

One of the most obvious properties of iron that we can all, most likely, say we’ve seen on tools that have not been in active use for a while is rust. Iron corrodes when exposed to the elements, and we’ve all seen the bright orange or red hues on our vehicles, on some sad piece of equipment rotting away in a field, or on a long-forgotten tool in our garage.

Most of us as Christians are like blunt rusty knives. We fill ourselves with the word but never want to be sharpened. Full of the word but not necessarily useful or effective in our calling with regards Ministry. What good and of what use is a rusty blunt knife?

When we interact, when we discuss scripture. In those times that we delve into the context and meaning of scripture. In those moments when we discuss and challenge false teachers and teachings on how certain doctrines and practices do not align or square up to the word of God we are sharpening ourselves.

Deeper significance of this Proverb

Do not be a docile Christian who thinks agreeing with everything and everyone is the way of a peaceful Christian. That is being a blunt knife. Do not allow yourself to gather rust. I pray that we can begin to see the deeper significance of this Proverb. Let us not become rusty through fear to interact and negation of the word of God.

If a Christian is docile they continue to be identified as Christian. If a knife is blunt, it still continues to be a knife. Although it is less effective, less useful in service. We all have the potential to be sharper in the word of God but it takes doing.

Indeed iron sharpens iron

There is a property of iron that bears mentioning, and that is the ability to abrade itself. As one takes two like pieces of iron (without getting too technical and for the sake of argument assume these pieces of metal are alike in all manner) and rub them together, one does not preferentially abrade the other. They both begin to wear upon the other and remove the surface impurities, defects and high spots until they become smooth.

Does it not seem then that, through this smoothness and removal of all defects, the iron shines brilliantly in the light of the sun? So, too, does our engagement with those who love Jesus Christ. Indeed iron sharpens iron.

Let us therefore be encouraged to spend more time together, exhorting, encouraging, praying, admonishing, sharing God’s Word, praying over God’s Word and the needs of our local church, that we become sharper, more cutting in the ministry that the Lord has assigned to each of us. 

“Iron sharpeneth iron, so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” Proverbs 27:17 

Article Written By Brilliant Pongo
Brilliant Pongo is a Christian author and motivational speaker. He has written a number of books on several Christian topics click here for more

We are committed to delivering quality independent Christian journalism you can trust. But it takes a lot of hard work, time, and money to do what we do. Help us continue to be a voice for truth in the media by supporting Onward Christian Magazine for as little as £1.


Recently Published Stories

‘I am Anchored in Christ; Bring on Euroclydon’, a timely New Book by Christian Author Brilliant Pongo

With the rise of many unscrupulous Prophets and Pastors in the world today, Brilliant Pongo’s

Zamar, Magacha, Mhere and Tembalami all set for the End of Year Gospel Show in U.K.

The U.K. based entertainment promotions company MFM Promotion has lined up big names for what

Author Brill Pongo features on Reggae Track watch unofficial video

Christian author, success coach and motivational Brilliant Pongo, linked up with his old crew Trinity

Big Names Billed for ‘End of Year Gospel Show’

MFM Entertainment is set to bring Zimbabwe’s best gospel musicians on the same stage in

Combating False Christianity in Africa

  I was delighted to be a guest on a special program hosted by Dr.

Do you follow Jesus Christ or your ‘Man of God’? How charlatans and false teachers have twisted the words of Apostle Paul

On numerous occasions I have heard the words, ‘I follow my man or woman of

Materialistic Christians beware you may be unwittingly serving mammon through your supposed man and woman of ‘God’

Our world today is more materialistic than it has been for decades—maybe more than it

Deliverance services in the charismatic churches have become overdramatised and demon centred services, where demons are given a platform to address the congregation.

You probably notice that deliver makes up a big chunk of deliverance. One meaning of

What is the role of a prophet and prophecy for the church today?

Prophecy in these modern-days has largely been despised by the church. This is to a

Prophetic churches may have misled many regarding the 2018 Harmonised Elections in Zimbabwe

I spent the last month discussing the politics of Zimbabwe as the nation geared up