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

King Solomon lived in a time when iron swords were commonplace.  For these swords to stay sharp and effective they needed to be sharpened regularly.  The same is true with constructive dialogue between disciples of Christ.

When disciples get together and challenge each other in the things of God it keeps their spiritual life sharp and effective.  The writer of Hebrews wrote in Hebrews 10:24, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”  The idea of “spurring” is the same as “sharpening.”  We should always want to encourage our friends to love God and do good deeds.

Sometimes we may have dull spots in our lives, areas we have overlooked or become complacent in and the only way we can notice it is when God uses someone to sharpen us.  Thus, when a good brother or sister can challenge our weaknesses and sharpen them out with their wisdom the benefits are tremendous.

When iron sharpens iron there may be sparks, but this is just part of the process.  And sometimes in healthy dialogue “sparks” may fly, it may get heated, but as long as everyone remains in love sparks are harmless.  We should all be mindful not to be argumentative, prideful, or offensive in our approach but its okay to be zealous.  God is passionate about truth and we as His children should be passionate about what we believe, Galatians 4:18.

Here are some ways to sharpen your iron, (a) Share theological discussions with Christians who believe differently than you about certain topics, (b) Have an accountability partner that gives you constructive criticism, and (c) Give and take advice with those around you who are open to giving and receiving it (this could be on your job, family, etc).


Are you keeping your iron sharp? If yes, then how?


  1. Look for good people to have in your life to sharpen your iron with.
  2. Be willing to sharpen others as you are being sharpened.
  3. Stay sharp!