As Iron Sharpens Iron


“You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” 
Jim Rohn

A couple of questions:

Who are you becoming?

Read the quote at the very beginning of this post. Do you want to become the sum of the five people that came to mind?

If not, who do you want to become?

Does the person you are becoming glorify God?

The irons in my life

Recently God has allowed me to spend some time with some great people.

These people ignite in me a desire to want to be better.

When I spend almost any amount of time, I survey my life and try to see how it matches up.

I am not saying they are perfect. I know that Jesus is the only perfect example we have to follow.

But God created the people around me, gifted and molded them to be who they are, and ordained that we should meet at some point in life.

I believe God meant it to be this way.

I believe that He wanted us to gather with others so that this would happen.

Hebrews 10:25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.

Jesus the iron man

I can only imagine this is what the disciples were a part of as they followed Jesus.

They were able to spend time with Jesus. And as they spent time with Him, they couldn’t help but notice the difference in the way Jesus lived and how they lived.

Talk about high standards to follow.

I can picture them thinking man, “that is who I want to be when I grow up!”

The disciples probably frequently asked themselves, how would I have handled this situation? And if they didn’t, Jesus would eventually ask them.

You can see this vividly when you read the gospels.

Jesus is constantly teaching the disciples where their thinking is wrong and what it looks like to be His disciples.

As iron sharpens iron

Proverbs 27:17 As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.

This principle comes from the wisdom scriptures found in Proverbs.

The thought is that as metal rubs up against other metal it becomes sharper. And similarly, as you spend time with other people you “rub-off” on each other. In turn sharpening one another through these interactions.

It is definitely an easy concept to understand but I don’t think it’s simplistic.

  • One iron typically has to be harder.
  • The dull metal has to be in a place of submission.
  • The iron that is doing the sharpening has to be rubbed in the right direction and location. If it is placed flat and on the edge instead of at an angle, it will do more harm than good.
  • Sharpening requires losing parts of itself.
  • Often times it requires a consistent rhythm and pace.
  • Certain blades need specific files to do the job right.
  • It takes time.

This an intentional task. The metals don’t just magically come together and sharpen themselves.

Think like an athlete

Paul used athletic analogies when writing his letters to the New Testament churches.
I believe Paul liked to use athletic analogies because he could see how intentional these participants were.
They didn’t just sit around expecting to get better they trained and involved others that would help them achieve their goals.
So take a look at a few key practices that athletes employ that I think you as a Christ-follower will benefit from:
  • Sometimes you need healthy competition to motivate you.
  • Coaches are invaluable for good growth.
  • Your teammates can be some of the greatest encouragers even if they never “coach” you. Their actions can be powerful tools in showing you where you need to grow or change.
  • Momentum is contagious.
  • In team environments expectations become clear.
  • There’s accountability to keep coming back.
  • Practice makes perfect and permanent.


How sharp is your blade?

You need this in your life.

Life has a way of dulling you with wrong thinking, ungodly influences, and personal sinfulness.

Imagine a machete that constantly strikes rocks and dirt. The blade becomes duller with every swing.

The owner of the machete will eventually have to make time to sharpen his tool. Otherwise, it will soon become ineffective.

You will have to make time to get sharpened.

You need a constant renewing by the transforming of your mind.

And this normally comes through friction, pain, hard work, and joy in the results.

Go get sharpened

So here are some action steps you can take right now:
  • Ask God to help you do this in a way that honors Him.
  • Write down a short sentence of the person you want to become.
  • Take note of the five people you hang out with the most.
  • What is your progress towards becoming the person you want to be?
  • Decide if there are any people you need to reduce or eliminate time with.
  • Be intentional to spend time with people that will sharpen you, not dull your blade.

Soul Check:

Have you sat back believing spiritual growth would just come?

Who are you sharpening?

Are you holding back because of fear?

Check out these other resources:

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