Proverbs 27:17 – “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”
This is a familiar verse for men; even for non-Christians. It speaks directly to the heart of men telling them that in order to keep their edge they need other men in their life. However, we can’t expect other men to sharpen us if we don’t have a defined edge already. This is a quick discussion on the subject, but one that we need to have at the forefront of our minds on a daily basis. Feed the Wolf. Be the Iron. – Yarbrough
- You can’t be sharpened if you don’t have a defined edge
- Stop pushing away the men who want to refine you
- The difference between sharpening and honing
- What to do with your new found edge
Hey fellas, welcome back to another episode of The Wolf and Iron podcast. Mike Yarbrough here, glad to be talking to you guys today.
Look, if you’re looking to become a better man if you’re looking to improve in all areas of your life if you feel that what we’re getting from the culture in terms of manhood is not what it means to be a man and you’re looking for something different if you’re feeling that high call on your life to become something more than what the status quo is while you’re in the right place. And I appreciate you being here. I want to talk to you guys today about being the iron. This is going to be a common theme that we’re going to be using in Wolf and Iron. We’ve already done a podcast episode on feed the wolf and this is going to be the kind of the second part the counterpart to that you’re going to see these themes show up pretty often. And so today’s episode is going to be about how to be the right kind of iron for other men to help sharpen them. And also also how to get the right kind of iron in your life and to stop turning away the guys that are going to make you a better man. But before I jump into that I wanted to do a quick read of a podcast review. This one comes from J.D. boss. So J.D. if you’re out there listening. This ones for you buddy. He says, “Great content.” That’s the title. He says “This is definitely one podcast you should be listening to. If you consider yourself a man,” that’s a pretty strong statement, “the content and the lessons are spot on.
Very encouraging and the mission statement is one that every man should want to carry on and spread amongst men.” J.D. boss you really are the boss I appreciate that. Guys if you if you listen to the podcast if you’re getting something out of this do us a favor go out leave a review that’s going to help other guys kind of get an idea of what the flavor of this whole thing is what we’re doing. It’s to help to get in front of the guys that need to hear the most. And J.D. boss if you’re listening to this. Reach out to me let me know your address and I’ll send you a little something in the mail. Thanks man.
OK. So being the iron. Now even if you’re not a Christian you’ve heard this and you’ve likely agreed with that because it speaks right to the heart of a man and it comes straight from Proverbs 27:17. And it says “as iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another”. Now if you are a Christian you’ve probably heard this umpteen thousand times and sometimes things can kind of lose their effectiveness because we’ve heard so many times. But I want to dig into this because I think that there are a lot of aspects of this that we don’t really cover when we’re talking about iron sharpening iron we just kind of think of OK that’s a good thing and some guys in my life to help me out. But I want you to notice what it doesn’t say.
It doesn’t say a man makes another man. OK.
Let’s talk about sharpening for a second. And actually let’s talk about sharpening versus honing them give you guys a little education in Blades midship here. When we’re talking about sharpening a knife we’re talking about the removal of materials so we’re going to put it against another piece of steel maybe a piece of stone or something like that. It could have something fancy like a diamond file or what have you. But the point is we’re removing material and we’re sharpening a blade when we’re honing a blade is a little different actually when we’re honing a blade we’re actually aligning the steel rather than removing steel so honing is really more about you’ve got a really really nice edge on your blade but it’s just not cutting it like he used to. And it really is just because the steel has kind of gotten folded over around it up a little bit and honing just basically realigns things but sharpening actually removes the metal. But in order to sharpen something he’s got to have a defined edge already. And here’s the problem. A lot of guys aren’t in the place where they have an edge to be sharpened.
You might be one of those guys. You may still be some cold or that still you know still being dug out of the earth and it’s got to go through some heat. Brother you’ve got to go through some heat to get refined and get made into something that’s usable and good iron sharpens iron. But it’s not up to some other guy to make you. That is called self work. You guys have got to do that on your own. And I hope that you’re doing that in light of who you are as a man of God and not just going off and trying to make yourself into something that you hope is the is the image of what a man is because you’re going to end up making yourself into something that doesn’t look like the kind of man you want to be or the kind of man you respect. This is really where we need we need the influence of other men speaking into our lives but we also need to have an understanding of who we are that we’re actually created for a purpose and that the goal for us as to the kind of man that we want to be the kind of iron that we that we want to be the sort of edge that we need to have is one that reflects godly character not just machismo or whatever the culture’s definition of masculinity is today. I hope that makes sense to you guys.
So you’ve got to work yourself to get it a defined edge and the job of another man is to come along and help refine that he’s going to work out some of the character flaws that you have. Essentially now the way this works is there’s a lot of times uncomfortable as you can imagine I mean still doesn’t feel anything but we do and another problem that guys run into is that they push away any of the iron in their life that would actually file away some of their character and expose the underlying steel and help refine that edge. The guys that are going to call you out on your problems you put those guys away just don’t want to get in those relationships. The guy that’s sort of blunt with you. You keep those guys at a distance because those guys are they’re just challenging to be around. You don’t like to feel challenged. You stay away from the heat in your life. That’s actually going to help you get molded into the kind of guy that can actually be sharpened. You guys see where I’m going with this. You’ve got to work to become something that can be sharpened and you’ve got to accept the guys in your life the men in your life that are going to help put an edge on you. OK. These are the guys that are purposeful what this looks like. It looks like somebody coming along peering into your life and giving you feedback in areas that you need to grow. Sometimes it’s this feedback that you may not want that you’re not looking for. It doesn’t always come the right way. It doesn’t always come at a little sit down over coffee and you guys are going to chat it out and are going to have time to think about it.
So don’t you just get called out and that’s OK. We need those kind of guys in our life. Now here’s the other thing. Some of you guys are already made to be the kind of iron that sharpens other men. And you know this you’ve got there’s something about you that is a refiner. You go into other guys lives and you begin to see immediately areas where they could use improvement. Now what you’ve got to work on is refining yourself. Ok to be able to bring that to somebody who’s attention in a way that’s actually beneficial to them. OK you’re not trying to nick the blade here OK. This is a very careful process. You really want to put an edge on somebody. You’ve got to have you’ve got to have the right approach. And that means you’ve got to be patient with them but don’t give up being the kind of man that you are. Don’t don’t just temper your language and your your natural gift things to speak into the life of another man because you’re afraid you might offend somebody or because I know what we do in our culture. No the guy. We need men like you. OK. We need the guys that are going to call us out on our B.S. We need the guys that are going to say brother you put on some pounds. You’re not keeping your commitment to get into the gym or to to run or whatever the case is.
Now look if you’re on this journey like I am where you’re heating this high call or you feel this call on your life to become better to better yourself you’ve got to understand what the outcome of this is supposed to be. It’s not so that you can call yourself a man that you can look in the mirror and hold your head high so you can have a just day you know better finances better success in different areas of life. The goal guys is so that you can use your newfound strength in the service of others to help them become better as well. OK you’re trying to point people trying to lead people. In other words you’re trying to become the kind of iron that’s beneficial to others and that’s going to help us sharpen other men and women. In other words you’re investing in yourself. And you’re willing to put up with other people speaking into your life and other men challenging you so that you can turn around and do the same for somebody else.
Guys the goal isn’t just to get sharping the goal is to be the iron that sharpens your strength is a value to this world.
I want you to understand that I want you to take that seriously the strength that you possess as a man is unique and is valuable in this world and is needed is desperately needed. Your family needs you. OK. Other families actually need your influence. Other men need your influence. You see it when I talk about feeding the wolf and talking about being mindful of the things that you’re taking in that you think are leading you to be the kind of man that you really want to be that’s feeding the wolf when I talk when I talk about being the iron I’m talking about what you’re giving back in the lives of other men and other women and your family. Are you the person who helps sharpen other people. Do you take the time with them. Are you aware of the kind of iron that you are in their life. I mean another thing that the verse sort of implies for people who are sharpened things before it may be kind of lost in our society today is that you can’t just take a knife or bring us a piece of steel and just start you know sliding these things back and forth and expect to get sharp there takes some skill and precision there. And if you think being the iron is simply just being a loud mouth is just saying what’s on your What’s on your mind. With no filter OK just letting people have it and hoping that they just sort of they can take it the right way and maybe do something with it. That’s not good either. It is a skill guys. All right.
So if you’re being the iron in somebody’s life is going to sharpen them. They’re going to shine brighter than they did before when they were duller and you’re not going to be put nicks in their blade you’re not going to be dulling their edge. You guys get what I’m saying here. Now listen there’s one more thing I want to talk about. If you guys really want to be honed in you want to be properly aligned. You want to make sure that you’re on the right track. You’ve got to go to the rock for that. I’m not talking about Dwayne Johnson guys I’m talking about Jesus. OK. Look there is an example of the kind of man that if you were to follow in his footsteps you would never be disappointed where you end up.
Think about that.
Every other man that you look at is flawed in some kind of way and that’s why we kind of pick and choose you know be a little bit like this guy take some of this guy’s qualities this guy’s characteristics I like how this guy speaks I like how this guy walks et cetera et cetera. But I’m telling you guys the example is already there in Christ and some of you guys are avoiding Jesus because you’re associating him with religion. And I get it. I don’t like religion either. But you’ve got to learn to separate the two you’ve got to learn to separate Christ from Christians. That’s sad to say but it’s true and has been true for a very long time. You’ve got to separate who Christ is from who Christians are. And if you can do that and you get to know the man who you get to know the Son of God thing I’m telling you what guys your life is going to be changed and you’re going to find yourself being aligned and being a much sharper man than you ever could be otherwise. All right Phil is this all I got today. Go out there get sharpened up get honed in and be the iron in somebody else’s life. And until next time, keep your powder dry and they a fair wind be always in your sails.