Proverbs 27:17-27 – What Kind of a Friend Are You?

Read Proverbs 27:17-27

Let’s unpack verse 17 today. It says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” I know how to sharpen a pencil, but how in the world do I sharpen a friend? Have you ever seen iron sharpening iron? A good example would be a knife sharpener. We have men that go door to door here in Mexico to sharpen the household knives. These men sing and/or whistle a little tune. I think it’s the “Mexican Knife Song.” I thought maybe it was just our area, but then I saw the same thing on a show we were watching, and the setting was Puerto Rico.

I remember the first time we had our knives sharpened here. I found joy in cooking just like it was my first time. There’s nothing like a sharp knife to help with meal prep! I didn’t even realize how dull the dull ones I had been using had become. Watching the sharpening process is fascinating.

So, if we are going to be a good friend to someone, we shouldn’t let them stay “dull.” A good friend will help the other be better. How do we do that? First of all, it’s important to remember that two are better than one. In terms of productivity to be sure. But it goes deeper than that. When we are working closely with another, we tend to rub off a little bit on the other. Now, if you are working with a wise person, you are going to come away sharpened. If you are working with a lazy fool, well, you’ll come away being a little like that.

I know for David and I, our relationship is better and our business is better because of our differences and how we push the other to be better. I suppose a better word would be “encourage.” But it is a bit of a “push” so that there is some “sharpening” going on.

When you are sharpening each other, you are helping them to shine. In situations where you are not sharpening or being sharpened, you can tend to get “dull” like the knife, be less productive, be depressed, lonely, and so forth. This is a great verse to remind us how to be a good friend, and also why having friends who are sharpening us is so important–if we want to be successful, fulfilled, and happy that is.

Probably one of the most intimate ways you can sharpen a friend is to make sure they are being consistent in building their relationship with Jesus. Life can get busy, and we can tend to let other commitments get into our way of spending quiet time. Am I the only one who has had dry spells when I wasn’t growing spiritually? What happened to get me back on track? A friend, a caring friend who loves me and wants me to be sharp. Can you be that kind of a friend for someone, or are you needing a friend to sharpen you in that way?

The devotional book series that debuted with the “Reflections on the Psalms: Devotions on the Go” is being written especially for those people who need a little sharpening in the spiritual journey department. This whole blog is the result of one life coach I had who sharpened me to get back into the word by journaling.

Take some time today to reflect on where you are. Are you needing to be sharpened, or are you picturing that friend of yours that needs that little push?

Let’s pray … Lord, I thank you for how you are moving in my life. I could definitely use a little sharpening because I want to grow closer to you than ever. My dependence on you is great, but I want more. And at the same time, God, use my words to sharpen those I love, reminding them how important having you in their life should be. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

10 thoughts on “Proverbs 27:17-27 – What Kind of a Friend Are You?”

  1. Definitely, change is the one constant in life. If you understand you’re “stable” then most likely you’re just lying to yourself or probably just letting go too many details. A friend is someone that by definition is close to us. Mirrors do not always tell the truth of the way we may be changing. There is where friends come into play to help us not to lose track of ourselves. 

    If that person near to you hasn’t modified your way of thinking of acting at least once in the past, and time hasn’t proof him/her right about the way you needed to change, I’m sorry to tell you that you’re in the company of someone rather than sharing your life with a true friend.

    Thanks for your picturesque analogy, I’ve really enjoyed reading your post and it has made me think about friendship a whole new perspective. Great post! 

    1. Thank you for your kind words! Being a good friend is just as important as surrounding ourselves with them. We can help each other grow and be better! 

  2. Hey, I enjoy a lot while reading your awesome thoughts and find it very useful for everyone like me. While reading I know that if we are working with a wise person, we are going to come away sharpened. If we are working with a lazy fool, well, we’ll come away being a little like that. My wife always encourage me . Thanks for sharing such kind words.

  3. As we know that “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” Now I know why having friends who are sharpening us is so important–if we want to be successful, fulfilled, and happy. Your whole blog is very helpful for me to sharpen my friend and family. Now I am feeling very excited. God is always with us if we have positive mindset.

    1. Yes, indeed, Bai Asha! Sharpening each other, who we surround ourselves with is so important. God is always with us no matter what!

  4. Hello, I thank you for how you are moving in my life. I could definitely use a little sharpening because I want to grow closer to you than ever. My dependence on you is great, but I want more. And at the same time, God, use my words to sharpen those I love, reminding them how important having you in their life should be. very thankful for such useful words

  5. hello, it is a great and nice feeling to know that someone will create a great website like this and also create a write up on an article like this. it is really good to have directions from God and it goes a long way to determine what friends we keep. thank you very much

    1. Thank you, Benny! I appreciate your kind words and support! I hope that you visit this website again and again!

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