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'Iron sharpens iron'

How we can lift each other up, and hold each other accountable.

Charlie Perkins.png
Charlie Perkins.
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The phrase “iron sharpens iron” is found in Proverbs 27. It says, "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another."

There is massive value, encouragement, and
motivation for everyone's life in this Bible verse. But what does it mean?

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It’s so important for each of us to build growing relationships with others we trust in our life.

“Iron sharpening iron” also requires a level of accountability. Genuine accountability demands that the person receiving the counsel or advice is willing to allow friends to look for the vulnerabilities in their lives, to accept what they point out, and then do something to fix it when they hear it.

It’s difficult to be someone who sharpens others, and perhaps even more difficult to find a trustworthy person to sharpen you. How do we find someone like that?


How do we sharpen one another?

  • Show genuine care for people
  • Provide clear expectations
  • Engage in regular honest conversations
  • Praise in public and correct in private
  • Discover and develop people’s strengths and passions
  • Build genuine relationships
  • Share the credit
  • Speak vision and possibility into the lives of others

The best gifts in your life come from the people who care enough to boldly speak the truth in love in your life. Although it is not easy to hear, it will help you grow.

Growth doesn’t happen unless we prune the branches. Fruit doesn’t grow unless the vine is attached to water and nutrients. It’s easy to fill ourselves with encouraging words that make us feel good, but it is the hard words that we take and apply that allow transformation and growth.

The principles of relationship and accountability are important to apply together. We need close relationships with people we trust and respect.

We should give them the consent to identify weak areas of our lives and then address those areas with us. So get around people who are willing to sharpen you, encourage you, and build you up.

Let's sharpen each other in this week's "Wisdom With Charlie" podcast.


About Charlie Perkins

Charlie Perkins is an author, musician, photographer, and videographer based in Rochester. The Chicago-bred Perkins attended Northwestern University concentrating on Radio, TV Broadcasting, and Interpersonal Communications. He spent 29 years at Harris Bank in Chicago and taught “Principles of Corporate Television” Columbia College in the same city. He has also spent 17 years as Unit Manager, Media Support Services for the Mayo Clinic. In a previous life, he covered the Chicago Bulls and Michael Jordan’s championship run, ’96-‘98 as a freelance photographer.

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