Together in Christ: 'We Need Each Other!' — Proverbs 27:17

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

— Proverbs 27:17 NLT

Key Thought

The Bible is full of examples and teachings on the importance of strong friends that encourage, comfort, and correct us to make us our best selves. [1] Few people have anyone to will tell them the truth when they are sinful, then help them turn their life back to God. [2] Few people have a friend who will stick with them through their hardships and sorrows. [3] We need strong friends who will challenge our wrongful thinking, support us when we live as God wants us to live, and help us up when we stumble and fall. [4]

However, the teaching of the Scriptures and God's greatest leaders remind us that we need this kind of friend. [5] Jesus was intentional when He sent out His disciples two-by-two. [6] Jesus often included His inner three disciples with Him during important ministry and life moments. [7] Paul was strong in his faith, but he had his lowest moments when he was trying to do ministry alone. [8] As he neared the end of his life, Paul knew he needed friends as he confidently faced his death. [9]

Thankfully, our verse today emphasizes the importance of having a strong, truthful, encouraging, and helpful friend much more succinctly!

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
[1] See our Related Scripture Readings below.
[2] Matthew 18:12-15; Luke 15:1-7; Galatians 2:11-14, 6:1-5.
[3] See our Related Scripture Readings below.
[4] Ecclesiastes 4:9-12.
[5] See our Related Scripture Readings below..
[6] Mark 6:7; Luke 10:1. The early church duplicated this practice — Acts 3:1-11, 4:1-2, 13:1-4, 15:40-41.
[7] Matthew 17:1; Mark 5:37, 14:33.
[8] On at least two occasions after Paul began his apostolic ministry, he found himself alone: (a) in Athens after leaving Timothy and Silas in Achaia; and (b) in prison at the end of facing martyrdom. Both times he admitted how hard it was for him — (a) Acts 17:13-15, 18:5 along with 1 Corinthians 1:3; and (b) 2 Timothy 4:6-18.
[9] 2 Timothy 4:6-18.

Today's Prayer

Tender and faithful Father, I ask for your help so I can be the strong friend to others that they need, and I pray that you will bless my close friends and lead me to others that You can use to refine and sharpen my character. I ask this in the name of Christ Jesus. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
  • Proverbs 11:30, 17:17, 18:24, 22:11, 27:6, 10


Archived Facebook Comments

Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Wednesday, March 22, 2023

A daily passage of Scripture emphasizing praise to our God.
"Those who live at the ends of the earth stand in awe of your wonders. From where the sun rises to where it sets, you inspire shouts of joy."
A one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts.
"[The Twelve said,] "And so, brothers, select seven men who are well respected and are full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will give them this..."
A daily devotional about the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
"This salvation was something even the prophets wanted to know more about when they prophesied about this gracious salvation prepared for you. They wondered what..."
A daily dose of Christian quotes to inspire and encourage.
"Hold on. Hope hard."


Illustration of Proverbs 27:17 NLT — As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.