Sharpening the Countenance
A Look at Proverbs 27:17
Sermonette; #1443s; 17 minutes
Ryan McClure, focusing on the metaphor in Proverbs 27:17 about iron sharpening iron, poses the question as to whether we can really sharpen a friend's countenance. Considering how a blade, whether used in agriculture, as a tool, or weapon, is sharpened, we discover that an edge can either be honed with a honing rod or sharpened with the likes of a file, whetstone, or fine sanding paper. A honing rod technically does not sharpen a piece of metal so much as it brings the edge back into alignment by pushing the the areas that are out of alignment back to the center, making the blade, plowshare, or axe-head smooth once again. When a blade is sharpened, tiny pieces of metal are shaved off to reveal a new edge, which is then run over a whetstone to sharpen the blade and then polished and made ready for use with a fine grit sandpaper. As God's people, we have the opportunity to have either a positive or negative effect on each other based on how we interact and treat one another. We can build up by honing and sharpening or tear down and dull. Our interactions with God are similar. When we come into God's presence through frequent prayer and study, He hones or sharpens us as needed. Sometimes all we need is to be honed and brought back to center, while other times God will sharpen us through trials, re-establishing the edge so we can be prepared and ready for every good work.
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