Iron Sharpens Iron

Have you ever seen an anvil? It’s a hard, somewhat awkward shaped, iron piece that is used to shape metal. The looks of it can be intimidating, but yet the intent is to give shape to an object. The process is difficult as the blacksmith hammers and pounds against the object, but the end result is that was has been made is now useful and fulfills its purpose for why it was created. 

This gives new meaning to Proverbs 27:17, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” I have often thought of this verse in terms of encouraging one another, and while I do believe that to be true, I also believe it also speaks about the importance of having people in our lives who hold us accountable. 

Accountability is easy to say, harder to put into practice. It’s the “pounding and shaping” part that we tend to shy away from. It requires authority and a genuine relationship with people who have earned the right to ask the hard questions and dig a little deeper to our otherwise surface answers. 

Accountability provides protection and covering, extends grace when we’ve made mistakes, challenges our thinking and loves through it all. This is the kind of healthy relationships we all crave and need in our lives. It allows us the opportunity to have real conversations and deepen our friendships. 

The beauty of community and finding genuine friends is that you find people that are willing to be part of your personal growth process, and you are in turn a part of theirs as well. When we do, we will ultimately fulfill our God-given potential, pursue our passion and live out the purpose for which we have been created.

This is truly living out Psalm 27:17.

Your Friend, 


3 Questions:

  1. Are you willing to be held accountable?
  2. What is the most difficult thing about accountability?
  3. Do you have an “iron sharpens iron” friend?

2 Verses to think on:

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

Proverbs 12:15, “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.”

1 Challenge:

Provide and welcome the opportunity for a trusted friend to ask you a few hard questions, and ask for the opportunity to do the same in return. Take time to truly listen to one another and spend time praying for each other.