Have you ever tried using a dull knife?  You may have been chopping up celery or trying to cut through some rope, but either way, it was difficult. One of my sons owns a custom knife-making company called Gulf Coast Native so I asked what he could tell me about knives. Hoping to hear something profound from someone with insider knowledge, here’s what he said:

1)    A dull knife is practically useless as well as dangerous.
2)    A sharp knife needs attention to remain sharp.

Let’s review: for a knife to be useful – for a knife to fulfill the purpose for which it’s created – it must be sharp and stay sharp.  Seems simple enough.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17 NIV).

Interesting.  It would seem people need sharpening, too.  Come to think of it, we say things like “she’s got a sharp mind” or “look sharp.”  ZZ Top even wrote a song years ago about a “sharp-dressed man.”

Listen to God’s charge to parents, “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7 NASB).

See that word “diligently“?  In Hebrew it means, “to sharpen.”  As a knife-maker, my son must be very intentional and precise.  Seems like we should do the same in order to accomplish the purpose for which we were created.

So when you come in contact with people – whether your children or spouse or coworkers or friends, does that encounter leave you and them sharper?  Here are a few ways from the Word we can remain sharp and seek to sharpen one another:

1)    Stay in the Word (Hebrews 4:12)
2)    Walk in the power of the Spirit (Ephesians 3:16)
3)    Pray for and with one another (Ephesians 6:18)
4)    Remain on mission together (Philippians 1:27)
5)    Encourage and build up one another  (1 Thessalonians 5:11)
6)    Restore one another in love (Galatians 6:1)
7)    Spur one another on to love and good deeds (Hebrews 10:24)

Want to be useful in the Master’s hand?  Stay sharp.

© 2013 Tim McKenzie – www.OnEveryWord.com 

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