As iron sharpens iron,Proverbs 27:17 NIV
so one person sharpens another.
Sharping kitchen knives is an art that I have never mastered. It involves rubbing the knife’s edge on a whetstone or a steel rod. It is iron sharpening iron. If done correctly, the result will be a sharp knife, making kitchen tasks more manageable. Without frequent sharpening, a knife will become dull and less effective at accomplishing its tasks.
In the same way that iron sharpening iron is true for a knife, so two believers can sharpen each other. And, like sharpening a knife, it needs to be done intentionally and regularly. Believers can sharpen each other when they demonstrate concern for each other. When they are willing to point out flaws and help to correct them. When they are ready to accept correction from others. And when they are growing together in the Lord.
Sharpening is a painful process for the knife. And it can be painful for us as believers to have our rough edges filed down. But it is necessary if we are to be as effective as possible. We can indeed serve the Lord without this. But like a sharpened knife, how much more effective will our service be if we are regularly sharpened?