Iron Sharpens Iron

Iron Sharpens Iron

Everyone in this chapter has had at least ONE bad day. Some of us may have even had several bad days. It’s all part of the deal. If you’re living on this planet, it’s bound to happen. Some of us might have a rosier outlook than others of us. Take my friend Bill, for example. Any time someone asks him how he’s doing; his answer is always the same. “I’ve never had a bad day in my life!” he exclaims. Every time. C’mon Bill. You’re a retired cop. You’ve never had a bad day? I assure you that he has. He just chooses not to focus on such things. He has a very positive outlook. I love that about him. I’d guess that we all know someone like that. Some of you are like that. The rest of us need to hang out with you more.

We all need to be encouraged from time to time. And just as important, we all have the capacity to encourage others.  I don’t mean encouraging your best friend to cross the train trestle over the Columbia River between Pasco and Kennewick with an oncoming train on the horizon (I am speaking from experience here). I’m talking about pouring into the lives of others when they need it most. Helping someone through a difficult time. Giving them that last little push in the right direction or covering over their confidence gap with a positive word. Sometimes it’s as simple as sitting with your friend in silence as he works through a challenge. Sometimes a smile is all that’s needed. 

According to an article in, a simple smile can change someone’s entire day. From the article:

“A genuine smile shared with another person can make someone else smile, feel better about themselves, and feel better about their situation — even if it’s just for a moment! Smiling also affects how others see us, because people will typically associate smiling with positive emotions like happiness or contentment.”

And this goes for our furry friends too! (Except cats. Cats could care less if you smile at them or not.) Again, from the article: “This phenomenon doesn’t just apply to humans. Dogs also respond positively when their owners smile at them; this further confirms what we already know about how important it is for humans to smile as much as possible! It’s amazing to see how smiling affects others, including dogs.”

The title of this article is “Iron Sharpens Iron”. You have probably heard that phrase before. Proverbs 27:17 says, “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” (ESV) In the same way that iron is used to forge and sharpen an iron blade, you and I can sharpen each other too. A word of encouragement. A smile. Sitting with someone in silence. 

I’ll end with a personal note. Throughout my recent health challenges (prostate cancer and treatment), I have experienced an overwhelming number of words of encouragement from so many people – both in this group and outside of this group. Believe me when I say, you’ve made a difference in my life. For that, I am grateful. Far more than you can know. 

Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (ESV)

Kerry "Kry Baby" Skaugset

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