There is mutual benefit in the rubbing of two iron blades together; the edges become sharper, making the knives more efficient in their task to cut and slice. Likewise the Word of God is a ‘double-edged sword’ (Hebrews 4:12), and it is with this that we are to sharpen one another—in times of meeting, fellowship, or any other interaction.
The passage in Proverb also shows the tremendous benefit we have in gather for fellowship, reflection, study, encouragement, and, yes, even correction with one another. Man was not made to be alone. This was stated from the very beginning, even in the creation story before the Fall (Genesis 2:18). How much more, then, after the Fall of Man, do we need to come together with our brothers and sisters in Christ for seasons of fellowship and prayer.
The first Christians saw the need for this sharpening (Acts 2:42-47) who “devoted themselves” to the teaching, fellowship, communion, and prayer, all corporate activities that provided opportunities for sharpening one another. The result was that they were “filled with awe” and when they met together, they praised God for the favor they found with one another.
I have been very fortunate to have my life blend with five colleagues in Grace Presbytery. We meet monthly for prayer and fellowship. We call one another on a regular basis. We have counseled one another through personal and professional times of frustration, pain, and challenge. One of us is close to retirement and does not just want to “coast home.” Another is coming to the pastorate as a second career, mid-life vocational change. A third one is in his first call out of seminary. It doesn’t matter age or experience, we are there for one another. The knowledge of their availability to me has made me a better person, husband, and pastor. The accountability we submit to with each other keeps us honest and on track.
Who sharpens you?