“I don’t want to go to school today?” was Madi’s announcement on the way to school. “Why?” I tried to probe a bit. “Because today is gym class and I hate running.” Now for someone who ran cross country and sees running as a beautiful release to freedom, her comment seemed sad to me. “Why do you hate to run, Madi?” She began to explain to me that in gym class they are practicing for the mile run so when they run, she is trying to run the whole time without stopping. The difficulty comes when her friends begin to stop. Her heart and mind go to battle, wanting to stop with her friends, yet at the same time wanting to give her very best and keep going.
My heart goes out to my 10 year old daughter. Do I tell her now that this is just the beginning of times in her life when she needs to keep pressing on when others quit? “The key to not quiting is to run with another who won’t quit” is the secret I share with her.
Solomon shares this wisdom with us in Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.” Having friends surrounding us that are daily being sharpened by the Lord will lead us in the way of being sharpened ourselves. In a society where most are giving into the cares of everything around us: money, entertainment, me first….we need to seek out friendships that will encourage us to pursue God and live lives that speak out that He is first everyday.
Take a second and make a mental note of those closest to you? Would you give each one a + for being a friends who sharpens you to pursue Christ more or a – for a friend who takes away from your relationship with Him? If you find you have more -‘s than +’s, make it your daily prayer that the Lord will help you to seek out friendships that are encouraging. If you find you have more +’s, thank the Lord for those friends and let them know today that they are important to you!
I think Jesus was a really smart guy. He spent a lot of time talking with the + that mattered most, the Father. He also had lots of times when he poured himself into those we describe as – . Although he did get tired from doing that sometimes, I don’t usually see him getting tired from it all that often. At least not as often as I would think.
It makes me wonder, why is that? The more I understand myself, the more I realize my own + or – warring inside of me. When I’m cultivating my relationship with Him, I view more people to be + than -. When I am cultivating my relationship with the addiction of busyness/need to be right or heard/etc., even those that are + feel – to me.
Do you ever feel that way?