Have you ever thought about the people you have known in your life time and how they have influenced you? Who is in your life keeping you sharp for God? If your answer is no one, then how do we find someone we can rely on to help us along our spiritual journey? Someone to keep us sharp as Christians to become the people Jesus desires us to be?
(Proverbs 27: 17) As Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.
This proverb is widely recited and memorized within the Christian circles as a plug for disciple making. A group of Christians who “sharpen” one another have a better chance in becoming that which God desires us to be. The application of this truth can affect our lives in a positive way, men and women alike. As we think about this subject, we should ask ourselves one fundamental question.
Who is keeping you sharp?
Who asks the tough questions? “How’s it going at home? How’s your thought life? Are you walking too close to the edge in any area?” “Who is keeping you sharp?”
Most of us have some casual acquaintances, which pass in and out of our lives and though our lives are impacted by all of our relationships, the greatest influence comes from those we call close friends.
People who help us try again when we fail, encourage us when we are discouraged, lighten our load when it gets too heavy, and give us strength against the evil forces we all face.
Our friends either help us stay sharp or they facilitate our remaining dull. It’s like there is an invisible membrane between friends, and what passes between close friends are values, convictions, morals, habits, and goals.
If you want to know what kind of person you are becoming, ask yourself: “Who are my friends?”
We all need a Paul, a Barnabas, and a Timothy to be sharp in our Christian faith.
First, you need a Paul: a mature believer willing to invest in your life. Someone who has been down the road and is willing to share the lessons they have learned and the experiences, which shaped their lives. An mature person to spend time with you, and show you the ropes of the Christian walk.
You also need a Barnabas: a brother who loves you where you are and encourages you to become the person you can be. People seemed to have changed for the better when Barnabas was around. We need to surround ourselves with people known as encouragers. This is important as you more likely become like those who surround you. If you are surrounded by positive people, typically you will be a more positive person. The opposite is true if you surround yourself with negativity…you naturally will become more negative.
Finally, you need a Timothy: a younger believer to whom you can offer help. A person you can help reach their potential. Every young believer the faith today needs someone who will care about them enough to get invest time with them.
Having these three types relationships is really what becoming a disciple is all about and also the process through which it typically takes place. Sadly, too many people try to go it alone in their Christian walk. When you attempt this, you quickly become dull. Who are you spending time with? “Who’s keeping you sharp?” Who is your Paul; Who is your Barnabas; and who is your Timothy? Just some thoughts to ponder…