Biblical Brotherhood (Proverbs 27:17) - Radical

Biblical Brotherhood (Proverbs 27:17)

Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.
– Proverbs 27:17

This is one of the more well-known proverbs, and it is well-known for a reason. What a powerful picture of a sharpening effect of one person on another.

Proverbs 27:17 invites us to steward our influence for the good of others.

I read this and I just think about people in my life who have made me a better person because of their influence in my life. Just think about the kind of people in your life, people who have had an influence on you that has helped you become a better person, that has helped you flourish in your life, that has sharpened you. And this verse invites us in one sense to thank God for those people. And then second, to pray that God would surround us with that kind of people and that God would help us to be this kind of people. Don’t you want people in your life who by being around them, sharpen you, they help you flourish? They help you experience the life God has designed you to live. So pray for that.

And then don’t you want to help other people flourish? Just look around at the people you will interact with today, and let’s pray that God would use us to sharpen them. Use us to encourage them, use us, our lives, our words, and our interactions with them to help them flourish, to help them experience the life that God has designed them to live. What a perspective to go into this day, and each day saying, “How can I sharpen other people? How can I be a benefit to other people through my influence in their lives?”

Proverbs 27:17 encourages us to surround ourselves with people who challenge us to grow.

So, God, we do, we praise you. We thank you for this sharpening picture in our lives through the people you have provided in our lives. God, I thank you so much for all the names and faces, of family members, friends, people in the church, and followers of yours who have made such a profound influence on my life. God, thank you for them.

And, God, we all thank you as we have different names and faces coming to our minds. And we pray, God, help us to surround ourselves with people like this. God, we pray that you would help us to not be influenced by those who are not leading us to flourish, but to be influenced by people who are leading us to experience life to the full in you. God, we pray for that kind of sharpening people in our lives. And, God, we pray that you would help us to be that kind of people in others’ lives. Today, God, we pray that you would help us to sharpen others. You’d help us to encourage others. You’d help us to build others up, to influence others in ways that lead them to experience life in you more as a result of being around us today.

God, may it be so. Use our lives like that with the people in our homes, people in our school, in the workplace, people in our neighborhoods, communities.

Prayer for the Mozhihei People

God, we pray that you’d help us to be a good influence helping others experience life in you. God, help us to share the gospel with people who don’t know you today. What a sharpening picture that is. God, help us to share the good news of life with you. And, God, we pray for the spread of the good news of life all around the world.

Specifically today, we pray for this remote people group, the Mozhihei people of China in the Hunan Mountains, 6,700 of them in this remote area who’ve never heard, or not been reached with the good news of your grace. God, we pray that you would raise up sharpening believers who will go and spread the gospel to the Mozhihei people of China so that they might flourish in you for all of eternity. God may it be so, we pray for all of this according to your word in Proverbs 27:17. In Jesus’ name, amen.

David Platt

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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