As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. – Proverbs 27:17
Yesterday I told you what I do not want to be – a stumbling block. Today I’m going to focus on what I do want to be – an iron sharpener! This year my goal is to bring out the best in everyone – including myself! You’ve heard of friendships where the two or three just keep “feeding” off each other and getting funnier and funnier, right? I love it when that happens – even if it’s off the wall and silly. If I can be the friend who makes others laugh and spew diet Dr. Pepper out of their nose… what can I say? It’s my mission in life and when that happens, I can say mission accomplished! My work here is done. You’re welcome!
Real life is stressful and often awkward and uncomfortable. Should friendships be the same way? I really don’t think so. There’s nothing worse than spending time with someone you want to escape from – and you spend the whole time hunting for the nearest exit and plan the escape in your head. Let’s face it… those are the friendships you have to re-think. You just do – and yes, it’s sad. Some people are not meant to be in our lives for the rest of our life.
Thank you, Lucinda – for keeping me polished! I’m so glad that God allowed our paths to cross!
For those friendships that seem destined to be, how can we be an iron sharpening friend? I’m glad you asked. Here are a few ideas:
- Pray for your friend – and for your friendship. If your friendship is covered in prayer everyday, it will be strong and won’t crumble over petty things. I tend to be upfront and honest in friendships because I appreciate those qualities in my friends. One day I was feeling especially envious and a bit jealous of a friend’s success when I did not seem to be gaining ground with my project. I told her about it, knowing that she would appreciate my honesty and candor. She helped me by first of all praying for me – and secondly, she started pointing out some positives that I had missed somehow. She knows if the shoe was on the other foot, I would have done the same for her.
- Cherish the friendship because God designed it. Review the start of your friendship once in a while. Let your friend know that you appreciate what she brings to the friendship and how much better your life is now because of it. Praise God for the way ministry grows and matures when Christian friends work together. Ask God to impress on you and guide you to the next project. It’s amazing and wonderful how God brings your separate work together as one very large witnessing tool. Be thankful when others are helped by your ministry – thankful of course to God, but also to each other. Don’t take friendship for granted. Friends don’t grow on trees. Most of my friends would think that visual was hilarious. I also imagine they’d imagine me hanging by my tail like a monkey, with a banana in my mouth (I have to be eating – well DUH!)
- Communicate as clearly as possible. A friend and I were chatting on facebook not long ago about this. We agreed that messaging on facebook is more challenging than talking face to face because there’s a lack of facial expression in the communication. Then we joked about using emojis – or really over-using them – in an attempt to let others know that we’re smiling 🙂 or 😀 or that we’re loving what they’re saying <3. Of course, when I’m talking there’s always the popular – I’M CONFUSED. Yeah – I really use that one frequently.
- Don’t try to fake it. God knows everything about everything, so it makes no sense to keep anything from your friend in the Lord. It’s a temptation to keep the “downer” stuff to yourself so you don’t bring her down too – but if you do, you are robbing her of the opportunity to lift you to God in prayer. Maybe you’re going through something that you don’t even feel like you can pray about yourself. I’ve been there and I’m sure you have too. Let your friend know what’s up so she can pray for you. It is a privilege and an honor to pray for a friend. Don’t let silly pride keep you from asking your friend to whisper a prayer for you.
We eventually get where we’re goin’ – together. I want to be an iron-sharpening friend. I hope you do too. Let’s all work together to sharpen some iron in 2017! 🙂