Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens the wits of another.
Proverbs 27:17 NRSV
You've seen this principle if you've ever watched a person shoe a house. The farrier does much more than slapping a new show on a horse. They first look at the horse's gait. How do the feet land? Are adjustments necessary? After removing the old shoe, they clean, trim and file the hoof, so it is smooth and rounded. The new shoe needs to be even for the shoe to sit well. The shoe itself needs to be shaped from a stock shoe close in size. The farrier heats it, so it becomes pliable. Then, using the hammer and anvil – metal on metal – forms it to the contour of the horse's hoof. After removing any burs, the horse is shod.
As the farrier shapes the shoe, we are formed and molded by those around us. Our thoughts, beliefs, and values become shared. Therefore, it is essential to surround ourselves with a loving faith community who, at times, may trim, smooth, and shape us as metal on metal in their desire to help us grow.
Precious God, we thank you for family, friends, and church who love and encourage us. At times we need them to be metal-on-metal, helping to form us into right thinking and actions. Help us, in turn, to be those people; enable us to live in fellowship with you and one another. We pray this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.