• William T. Howe Ph.D.

July 22, 2021

Daily Reading: Proverbs 27-29 Proverbs 27:17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend. You’ve seen it. Before a chef uses a knife, for example, to carve a turkey, they sharpen the knife. In one hand they hold a round file like rasp and draw the knife blade across it in order to sharpen the cutting edge of the knife. Anyone who has ever used a knife, carving knife or otherwise, knows that a sharp edge is much safer than a dull edge. Likewise, a sharp person is safer to be around than a dull person. Because a sharp person will sharpen you. A dull person cannot make you sharp any more than a knife could never be made sharp by, let’s say stabbing it into the ground. The ground is dull, not a hard surface, at least not hard enough to sharpen a knife. A man who is sharp will sharpen another. The teaching herein is twofold. One lesson is that we should keep company with sharp people. Sharp individuals are usually hard in that they know what they know. They know it to be right, and are unmovable. They have searched out a matter, learned some things, have understanding and are able to be around others less sharp without losing their sharpness. More than one preacher has said something like this: “If you want to know how you will be behaving tomorrow, look at your friends today.” You will become like those you spend time with, that is unless you are purposely fixed in your belief system, as rigid in your beliefs as iron. The other teaching is this: be sharp for those who follow you to sharpen them. After all, someone sharpened you. Probably by looking back over your life there will be individuals that sharpened you. Think about them, they were probably fixed in what they believed, were right in their manner of life and influenced you for good. For me it was my parents, a preacher or two, a great scoutmaster, and several fine bosses. My wife has sharpened me. My children, too, have caused me to become sharper in many areas. To a degree every person can have a sharpening effect in some area of life, that is if you look at their strengths and overlook their weaknesses. A big difference between a knife and a person is that the knife cannot sharpen itself, but you can! By hanging around sharp individuals that are harder and more fixed in a given area than yourself, you will become sharper in that area. Much is said today about influencers like the concept is new. It’s not. Influencers have been around since the garden of Eden. The only question is, do they influence others for good, sharpening them, or are they otherwise minded, making others dull. Well, they do not make people dull, but they cannot make them sharp either. Until tomorrow, live for Christ today.

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