Iron Sharpens Iron – Proverbs 27:17

Iron sharpens Iron quote

Proverbs 27:17

King James Version (KJV)

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”

New International Version (NIV)

“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

“Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another.”

New American Bible (NASB)

As iron sharpens iron, So one person sharpens another.”

English Standard Version (ESV)

“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

The Living Bible (TLB)

“A friendly discussion is as stimulating as the sparks that fly when iron strikes iron.”


This scripture is one of the most popular verses in the Bible. It can be seen on t-shirts and necklaces everywhere. We always think about how believers should sharpen each other, hold one another accountable. And that is absolutely true.

But real sharpening of iron comes with friction and sparks. How many times have you been around someone who made you realize your prayer life isn’t quite up to par? Many times for me. What about morning devotion? Yes again for me.

Sharpening others doesn’t mean walking around and telling everyone how strong our “walk” is. It doesn’t mean reciting scripture to everyone we see. It means abiding in God, and loving others. The sharpening will come from God working through you. Most of the time, you won’t even know you sharpened someone else and that is fine. Love God, Love Others. There will be friction and sparks.