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The Razor’s Edge

by Benjamin Anderson 25. August 2009 20:28

The last three weeks I’ve been thinking about what a godly man’s walk with God really looks like.  What characteristics does a Godly man have?  Is there a suitable illustration for such a walk, and how can we remember the keys to continuously growing in and through God?

While thinking all this through I realized that a man’s walk with God is hindered most often by pride.  Man’s pride has many different appearances and can many times hide behind other faults.  But when it comes down to it, men are far more susceptible to failing due to pride than women are.  We thrive on our accomplishments, our hunts, the chase and the race, our dreams and our offspring.  Man’s ability to continue on through life depends on our confidence and respect from others.  It’s too easy for us to slip over the edge of being confident and bold to being proud and individually too loud.  We’re expected to use our giftings and reach our God given goals in order to let his light shine, but our nature is to grasp on to that glory and being proud of our role.

The end result of pride is hurtful sin.  Pride causes collateral damage.  Because of our pride men are more susceptible to falling for sexually sin.  The pride makes us better than our convictions, our family’s reputation and our laws.  Why do so many influential men of God fall for money and sex?  It is because they grasp the glory too much and built up their pride to the point that they were too proud to face the consequences.

Man’s walk with God isn’t a razor edge because of the balance between successfully doing God’s works and fighting our pride.  Man’s walk with God is the razor.  The best illustration of a man’s walk with God is one of the “manliest" things, a straight razor.

Our walk with God has so many commonalities with a good straight razor. 

  • We have to be soft to reach our maximum effectiveness.
    A good straight razor is made of softer iron or steel rather than hard and unforgiving stainless steel.  While the stainless steel blades can become sharp enough to shave with, they are not soft enough to get and keep proper edges through stropping.  The metal is just too hard for the leather to help clean the edge to an ultra-fine point.  Stainless steel also eats though the finer honing stones and requires more work on the stone to get to the place that it is sharp enough to cut hair.  The stainless steel is just too stubborn.
    As men of God, we have to be soft enough to work with God’s changes in our lives.  Being honed to the point that God wants us isn’t easy, and we lose parts of who we were, but when we’re malleable enough to be honed quickly, then we aren’t up against the grinding stone as long or as often as we would need to be if we’re as stubborn as stainless steel.
  • Even a new and faultless blade isn’t ready to use right away.
    We all still depend on God from the beginning.  A Christian is never finished growing, learning or changing for God.  A brand new blade still requires stropping before use, otherwise the precise and clean honing done on a good blade will be lost against the stubborn grain of the beard.  Regardless of our past, or our anointing, we are still dependent on our relationship with God to continue to maintain and perfect the edge in our life.
  • A good edge requires a polished finish.
    A good, sharp razor edge isn’t just ground against any stone, they are honed against several increasingly fine grit flat stones.  The further along in the process the less metal is being removed from the edge and the more the blade is being polished.  In order to obtain that razor edge the blade has to be honed on polishing stones, otherwise the edge is to broad and coarse to shave.  Without the polishing of the ultra-fine grit stones the razor is as useful as a pair of scissors when shaving.
  • The blade is supposed to be straight.
    A properly honed and prepared straight razor is just that, straight.  The razor’s edge is formed to the flat stone used during honing.  Regardless of the curve or nicks in the blade, when it goes through the honing process the blade begins to lose the defects and faults in the edge.  The key to removing those nicks and chips is using a very coarse and strong stone on the blade until is wears the fault out of the blade.  This can result in significant changes to the blade and all of the old edge of the blade being lost.  Just as the blade is shaped to the stone, a Godly man is shaped to God during our honing process.
    The straight edge is important for a proper shaving since every step in the process requires an even pressure on a surface, even the shaving process.  Without the flat and straight edge it would be much easier to carve up the face while shaving instead of removing the hair.  The flat blade also increases the performance while stropping and reduces the wear on the leather strop.  A chipped blade will begin eating the leather strop during the stropping process.  Because of our defects we can hinder God’s work in our lives and the lives of others, which is way we have to be willing to allow God to work our defects out of us.
  • The edge is delicate.  The blade will rust.
    Since a good razor is made of softer steel or iron it is susceptible to rust.  The blade has to be cared for before and after the shave, including oiling the blade and proper storage when not in use.  The very environment the razor is made to be used it is harmful to the overall integrity of the blade.  Just like a good razor, the working environment we were created for will eat away at us without the proper maintenance and attitude. We depend on God’s constant work in us in order for us to properly allow His work through us.  Without it we begin to decay as a result of the environment we’re in.  The world will cause us to begin to rust and decay, and the more we attach ourselves to the world and its ways the faster and more severe the damage will be.  Just like the water left on the steel razor due to poor drying and maintenance, the world will eat away at us and rust the blade shut.  We become ineffective and even unusable when we separate ourselves from God’s cleaning and maintenance because we refuse to work on our relationship daily.
  • Our walk with God should allow us to cleanly cut through the crud of the world. 
    As anyone that has used a knife knows, a sharp edge is most effective for clean cutting.  There are many surfaces that can cut, for example, you can cut your finger tip open with a piece of paper or you can slice your knee open with a edged rock while hiking.  But unless the edge has been prepared and sharpened with the intention of cutting, the edge does more ripping than cutting.  That paper cut hurts so much because the serrated edge of the paper chewed through you skin instead of really slicing through your skin. A surgeon's scalpel is dependent on the sharpness of the blade just as much as it is dependent on the cleanliness to prevent infection and to allow for proper healing post-operation.  If the surgeon used a butter knife to saw open a patient the wound would take longer to heal after being closed back up because the knife would have torn up the flesh rather than slicing through the layers of flesh with little resistance.
    One of the biggest causes of defects in our edge is pride.  Men are in a constant battle between being bold and confident in Christ and falling to our pride.  Our pride warps and chips our edge, as a result our cuts to clean up the world and people around use have impression and defects in them due to our pride and defects in our edge.  An apple sliced with a serrated steak knife might have proper slices, but the flesh of the apple will show the serration of the blade along the cut.  In the same way we leave grooves, grids and marks in the surfaces after we’ve done God’s work, those defects interfere with the clean cut God had planned.
  • The chips and nicks need to be completely worked out.
    Chips and nicks result in problems during shaving and when the blade is used to for clean cuts.  When shaving those nicks will increase the chance of cuts, reduce the effectiveness of the blade and require more passes for a proper shave, and will leave marks in and irritate the skin.
    The nicks, chips and other defects have to be worked out of the blade.  The process for removing those defaults requires the blade to be honed with a very coarse stone and then worked back all the way through the honing process again.  Similarly, our pride results in us having to be broken down again and often times taken back to day one of our relationship with God.  The process isn’t fun or easy, just as the coarse stone isn’t soft on the blade.  The deeper and bigger the nick, the more of the blade that will need to be lost to properly edge the razor again.  The deeper and bigger the pride, the hard our process and the more of ourselves we have to lose to recover who we are in Christ.
  • The relationship has to be a constant and proactive preparation on a daily basis for us to be most effective.
    To properly maintain the razor edge the blade has to be stropped before and after shaving.  Without stropping the blade has to return to be honed more frequently and the less effective the edge is during the shave.  Stropping is the perfect metaphor for our on going, day-to-day relationship with God.  We have to constantly be praying and communicating with God in order to maintain our edge.  Without it God has to put us through harder times to break us down again and work us till our edge returns again.  Daily devotion, a constant prayer talk with God and frequent praise sessions are essential to being prepared and keeping your edge in life.


A sharp edge razor isn’t always used for shaving and here are some important points with that in mind:

  • The sharper the edge, the less the edge is misdirected and distracted by the ruts and grooves in the surface being cut.
  • Dull edges require speed and force to perform their cutting operations.  Speed and force reduce the precision and increase the damage caused by the cutting while increase the effort and energy required.
  • You don’t use force and speed to perform the slicing in a delicate surgery.  For that reason you don’t use an axe for open heart surgery.
  • Almost sharp enough blades get stuck half way through, over come by the force and friction around it.
  • Axes have their place is bringing down and tearing down things.  Sharp blades are used for creating, building up, and correcting things.
  • A good meat clever is still sharp enough to properly slice through a tomato and onion.  Even with huge gifts and weight behind us, to properly do the job we need God with us to keep the fine edge.

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Categories: ministry | mental dump | devotion


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About the author

Benjamin is a software developer in the DFW area.  He spends his free time playing video games, programming, doing graphics design and photography, and reading.

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