Proverbs 27-29: Men Sharpen Men

Proverbs 27:17:

Iron sharpens iron,
and one man sharpens another.

One of the saddest developments in the last century is the decline of true and deep male friendships. I blame homophobia and video games. One has made men afraid to get close to one another, the other has made men lazy, or, to continue with the metaphor from Proverbs, dull. Men are not sharpening one another. We are not challenging each other. We are not weeping and rejoicing with one another. We are not speaking truthfully about our struggles and confessing our sins. We are dull and scared.

My prayer so often is that God would help me to develop friendships that reflect the heart of this verse. I want to be sharpened and I can’t do that one my own. Good, solid, godly friendships between men will change the face of the church, and in turn, the world. I don’t think that I am overstating this. If men are sharpened through real and intimate friendships with one another, then the church becomes the force that it was meant to be. Just look at the relationships between the apostles. They fought together, side-by-side and, one more than one occasion, face-to-face. They were transparent about their struggles. They spoke kindly and tenderly to one another, and the strengthened each other at the hour of death.

We need this in the church today. Pray for it. Seek it out. Men, we need to sharpen one another. Don’t settle for being dull.

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