Iron Sharpens Iron | SUMMER Edition

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"Iron Sharpens Iron" T-shirt"

"Iron Sharpens Iron" is printed on a awesome comfortable tank. There are several great translations, but the NIV says "As Iron sharpens Iron, so one person sharpens another."

This original Proverbs 27:17 inspired t-shirt is copyrighted by 316tees.

  S M L XL 2XL 3XL
Width, in 17.99 20.00 22.01 24.02 25.98 27.99
Length, in 28.03 29.02 30.04 31.02 32.05 32.99


I love the Old West. Recently, I toured a reenactment of an old West town while on a vacation and found myself drawn to the Blacksmith shop. Watching this craftsman work was nothing short of amazing. I stood mesmerized as the blacksmith worked with the metal, heating up a piece of iron in the fire, and then laying it on the anvil and striking it with blow after blow.

After striking the item for a while, back into the furnace it would go, and the process of sharpening would start all over again. The fire first, then the striking of blows. The process of sustained heat and constant pounding continued again and again until something useful was formed.


The Blacksmith was often the most important person to have in a town on the prairie. Blacksmiths made a variety of common objects used in everyday life: nails, screws, bolts; sickles, plowshares, axes, and other agricultural implements; hammers and other tools; even candlesticks and other household objects.

Wheel rims for wagons, and swords for soldiers. You name it, if it involved metal and iron, the blacksmith could fashion it. The work was hard and tedious, filled with heat and smoke and steam, but every settler grew to depend on the skill of the blacksmith. A good blacksmith could help keep the town running, and often meant the difference between survival and death for many families and farms.


As I watched the blacksmith work, I thought about a verse in the Bible.  Proverbs 27:17 says, "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another."  The idea is that a friend or accountability partner can help keep a Christian sharp and useful to the kingdom.

A true friend will challenge us to stay connected with the Lord. By giving them permission to invade our personal spiritual space, they can ask us the tough questions about our hearts.

For example, things we are learning from devotions, who we have shared the gospel with during the last week, or even if we are connecting with God in prayer daily. By putting a little “heat” on us, and then “hammering” us with honest blows, slowly and surely, this friend becomes the iron we need to keep our edge in spiritual matters.


What strikes me when I watched the blacksmith work, it that every blow of iron against iron had a purpose. The smith did not just pound metal to be pounding metal (although at times it might have seemed that way), there was always a plan to the work. The purpose was to fashion and mold a piece of iron, (as hard and stubborn a metal as there is) into something useful or beautiful. A good smith could take a piece of iron and make almost anything out it. So, God does with us.

If you don’t have someone in your life, who can help you walk on the path of righteousness, find someone. Find a prayer partner who will stand by you, and even more give them permission to challenge you to live for Christ.

Because the truth is iron does sharpen iron. Just ask the blacksmith.