WISE SAYING #27

Proverbs 27:17; “… so one man sharpens another.”

Used to watch my father sharpen his pocket knife … my mother’s kitchen knives … and our cotton-chopping hoes. It involved metal on metal … a metal file pressed at just the right angle … repeatedly rubbed back and forth until the edge was honed just right. It always involved some concentrated effort and the right about of pressure. Sometimes it even involved sparks.

I loved watching him concentrate – press – hone, taking his time to get it just right. It was one of those things that I always wanted to be able to do when I grew up. (Truth be told, when I got old enough to start doing that kind of stuff, I was never as good at it as my dad was – which is also true of a lot of things I grew up watching him do.)

Enough of that.

It makes sense … doesn’t it … that God would use this illustration: “iron sharpens iron” to advise us to seek out the kind of friends and relationships that would enhance our growth and hone our skills: “so one man sharpens another”?

I am not sure that he is giving me the responsibility of “sharpening” others – though, hopefully, my character and lifestyle would allow God to work through me in such a way. But I am certain that he wants me to associate with men, who allow God work through them in such a way. (Refer back to Wise Saying #13.)

I have been blessed in that way … even in those times where the pressure caused some sparks … by men like my father (first and most) … Mike White (who taught me to learn the Word and to remember it line for line) … Cline Paden (who taught me to see beyond my limits to the mission of God for every living creature) … Milton Caraway (who taught me to be diligent in all things as a preacher) … Doug Oakes (who taught me to rely on His grace and share it over and over again).

There are others, and at some point I should take the time to mention each and every one of them, honoring God because of them and imitating them in the lives of young men I know.

So … today … as I read through Proverbs 27; seeking the wisdom of God for my life … I want to seek out men of knowledge and grace – willing (even eager) to yield to their “sharpening”. But I also want to become that kind of man for my children, grandchildren and every young man that God may bring into my life.

Wise saying #27 – “SHARPEN YOUR SWORD.”

P.S. Day Twenty-Seven … read Proverbs 27. Want some homework?

  1. Find a man you respect and appreciate. Identify a characteristic he has that you want to model. Ask him to “sharpen” you – even if it causes some sparks.
  2. Pass on something you learn from that man to your son or grandson.
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