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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)

TITLE: Sharpening a Knife
By Edmond Ng


    Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17 NAS)
Knives must always be kept sharp because a blunt knife is dangerous, as it requires more pressure and is more likely to slip and cause a cut, according to an article on knife care at HospitalityInfoCentre.co.uk. A professional chef sharpens his or her knives every time they are used.

A sharp knife means a better, faster, and easier job for the chef to work neatly and more accurately. Once a knife is sharpened, the knife must first be cleaned to remove any filings that might be on the blade. A good way to test the knifeís sharpness is to cut a soft tomato to see if it slices through easily with little pressure.

Understanding knife sharpening provides many lessons we can take home. The Bible teaches that iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another (Proverbs 27:17). Now think for a moment and ask ourselves, are we notable for sharpening others? Do we help others do better? How often do we reach out to encourage one another and build each other up (1 Thessalonians 5:11)? Do we know that leaving our brothers and sisters in the Lord to struggle on their own is dangerous because without guidance they require more effort and are more likely to slip and fall?

If we hope to do better, faster, and easier in accurately handling the word of truth, we must first keep ourselves constantly sharpened in Godís word (2 Timothy 2:15). The word of God is living, active and sharper than any two-edged sword, able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12). We need therefore to be careful when seeking to encourage or correct another to first examine ourselves and remove our own bad habits, wrong attitudes, and presumptions (Luke 6:42).

A good way to test whether an encouragement or correction is helpful is to watch the receptivity of the person and how he or she responds. Remember, however, that just as not all tomatoes taste the same, so the people we seek to help differ largely in personality, sensitivity, experiences, degree of faith, among other things. Always understand them first before reaching out to them. Be sensitive to the Holy Spiritís leading. Do not force a correction, speak without thinking, or let eagerness take center stage.

Dear Lord, help us be sensitive to the leading of Your Holy Spirit, especially when encouraging or correcting a person. Do not let our hearts be hardened to leave our fellow believers to struggle for themselves, but guide us Lord as we help them keep from slipping or falling. Remove from us all that is not pleasing in Your sight O Lord and sharpen us by Your word that we may accurately handle the word of truth.

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This article has been read 411 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 03/14/13
Love the devotional and the closing prayer.

Thank you. God bless~
Phyllis Inniss03/17/13
Very penetrating article and devotional. How often our words cut the heart and leave it bleeding. Thanks for the prayer and the message.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/20/13
I think you did such a profound job of nailing this topic. In the beginning you brought back images of my grandmother sharpening her kitchen knives. It was like watching an artist the way she would flip the knife back and forth over the metal rod. She showed me many times, but I could never quite get the hang of it like she did. When she died the knife sharpener was one of the things I wanted to take home. I knew I would likely never use that, but it would serve as a reminder of my grandmother. Now, however, it will also serve as a reminder of this devotion. The word you have written are ones that I need to remind myself of on a daily basis. Your prayer was perfect and as I read it I could feel God hearing my pleas. Fantastic devotion.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/22/13
Congratulations on ranking 8th in level three and 22 overall!
C D Swanson 03/23/13
Edmond, congratulations on your placements for 8th and 21 overall!

God bless ~