We recently received a request to make a tumbler with the familiar passage of Proverbs 27:17, Iron sharpens Iron, and one man sharpens another. We are not always able to say yes to these requests, but when this one came in, we couldn’t resist. We knew we needed this piece to remind ourselves of how we were designed to interact with one another as spouses, as parents, as friends, and with every stranger that God brings across our path.

When we talk about sharpening iron, I immediately think of bringing an edge to an object to make it more effective in its designed purpose. To achieve this edge, an object must be in strategic, intentional contact with a second object. It is through this contact that the object becomes more effective in fulfilling its purpose.

This proverb is a call to relationship; a call to be in strategic, intentional contact and connection with others. Connection is not merely a closeness, or a tolerance, it is a linking together of individual members to become a unified body with a greater purpose. Imagine a chain with an anchor on the end. Individually, the members are unable to handle the weight of the anchor. However, when they come in contact, when they link together with other members, they become stronger and are able to sustain the pressure exerted by the anchor. When we talk about sharpening each other, we are talking about being in this kind of strategic, intentional contact with others.

You are a unique piece that He has strategically placed to come in contact with your spouse, your children, your extended family, your church family, your neighbors, your coworkers, the people at your kid’s school, the girl at the Starbucks register, and the complete stranger you bump carts with at the grocery store. He has placed you in a strategic position and asked you to simply connect, reach out, respond in a way that invites His presence and allows His power to work through you. If we hold fast to Him, and hold fast to the position He has given us, we can help lead others to a position where they are more effective in fulfilling the purposes God created for them.

Join us tomorrow as we dive into some examples in the old testament and see the power of our God at work in the lives of His children as they choose to strategically, intentionally connect with others and live out their lives in design by living in relationship with others.