In January, I took my leftover gift cards and purchased a new knife. The Mini Griptilian is a folding knife made by Benchmade. It comes out of the box razor sharp, and it will literally shave hair. Since I wanted to get a similar edge on my existing knives, I also bought a sharpening system by Lansky.
Not letting your knife get dull in the first place is, of course, the best scenario. So I also carry a small pocket sharpener to keep the blade touched up. I had several knives that were extremely dull, however; hence the need for a good sharpening system.
The beauty of the Lansky System is that it applies a consistent bevel to the blade. It gives the options of a 17, 20, 25 and 30 degree angle bevel. The process is easy. Clamp the blade in place and start with a course or medium grit stone and then go to the fine stone. The stone’s grit digs into the metal. The coarser the grit, the more metal gets carried away. I always work down to the fine stone and finish the edge with the polishing stone. The stone’s guide rods keep the right bevel all the time.
After using this system, I can show off some extremely sharp knives. They’re not quite razor sharp, but I’m working on that. It’s a bit tricky to get that blade ultra sharp. But don’t get me wrong—this system will produce sharp knives—plenty sharp for most jobs in the outdoors or in your kitchen. Most of us have heard this great verse from King Solomon:
Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.
Proverbs 27:17 (KJV)
Speakers often quote this verse at men’s conferences or use it in popular books or magazines for Christian men. But this verse applies to all of us—men and women alike. The timeless analogy describes the benefits of a good, godly friendship.
Notice the use of the word friend. Solomon doesn’t suggest a teacher/student, master/slave, or pastor/church member relationship. He does imply a peer-to-peer, equally-yoked relationship. Being equally-yoked in our friendships is vitally important. Christ-follower friends bring consistency to life. They help us maintain the right bevel.
We commonly use a whetstone to sharpen a knife; usually, the stone’s surface is harder than the implement being sharpened. The verse uses the phrase, “iron sharpeneth iron.” I have used a metal file to sharpen a lawn mower blade or the hedge clippers. The file is harder than the other metal. At times, we rely on others who are “harder” or stronger. We need friends who will sharpen our countenance—our character. Sometimes they sharpen us and other times we sharpen them. They tell us the truth in love. We tell them the truth in love. These Spirit-filled brothers and sisters shape us and encourage us.
Never does God tell us to cut up or chop up one another. As I described in my article on Hebrews 4:12, God’s Word does all the slicing and dicing. Only He can penetrate the heart, soul, and spirit. So how do believers interact? He calls us to edify each other—to employ our “Spiritual Grit” on fellow brothers and sisters.
What is “Spiritual Grit?” It means being spiritually tough, but in a loving way. Our believer friends all come equipped with different grits. The prophets in our lives apply a coarse grit or stone. They can be very direct and to the point; sometimes we need their directness. The teachers are the medium stone. They empower us with transforming knowledge and wonderful principles. Those gifted with encouragement or mercy, serve as the fine or polishing stone. They comfort us and somehow convince us to stay the course. God brings all these people—these sharpening stones—into our lives to help hone our Christian walk. They touch us and engage us with their love and their toughness.
How about you? Where is your “Spiritual Grit?” Whose character are you shaping and sharpening?