As Iron Sharpeneth Iron

Lewis Bayly writes in his Practice of Piety (this is not a promotion or an endorsement of Bayly as a true Christian):

“And when thou meetest with God’s children, be sure to make some holy advantage by them; learn of them all the good that thou canst, and communicate with them all the good things that thou knowest. The more good thou teachest others, the more will God still minister unto thee. For as the gifts of men, by much using, do perish and decrease; so the gifts of God, by much using, do the more grow and increase; like the widow’s pitcher of oil, which the more it poured to fill other vessels, the more it was still replenished in itself.”

Bayly’s words calls to mind the following passages of Scripture:

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (Proverbs 27:17).

“The liberal soul shall be made fat: and he that watereth shall be watered also himself” (Proverbs 11:25).

“Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things” (Galatians 6:6).

“As every man hath received the gift, [even so] minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. If any man speak, [let him speak] as the oracles of God; if any man minister, [let him do it] as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (1 Peter 4:10-11).

“To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called [to be] saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me” (Romans 1:7-12).

“Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;) Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. For the administration of this service not only supplieth the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God; Whiles by the experiment of this ministration they glorify God for your professed subjection unto the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men; And by their prayer for you, which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you. Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift” (2 Corinthians 9:10-15).

“And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13).

“But as touching brotherly love ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves are taught of God to love one another. And indeed ye do it toward all the brethren which are in all Macedonia: but we beseech you, brethren, that ye increase more and more” (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).

“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works” (Hebrews 10:24).