Iron Sharpens Iron

28 08 2009

As each of us  focus on  getting to our very own “For Such a Time as This” moment (Esther 4:14) there are 6 targets that will have us move in this direction.  (see our Theme for 2009 tab above for more information on all 6) Here we start our look at Target 4 – “Reorganizing Your Team”.

The question we must first ask ourselves as we begin to look at our team or the friends around us is, are your friends making a positive contribution to your life or are they planting weeds that will ultimately steal your thunder and kill your dreams?   We really only want people around us that will support our dreams and push us into being our greatest self.  These are the folks that are going to tell us what we NEED to hear, instead of what we want to hear.  People that will keep us on our toes while at the same time being on their toes themselves as this friend has to be just as sharp as you are aiming to be.  Think about it….  Iron sharpens iron.  

“As iron sharpens iron, so one woman sharpens another” – Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)

The point is you become what you surround yourself with.  You know that popular saying “birds of a feather flock together” and people really do grow from their interactions, dealings and or relationships with others.  Your team or group of folks around you can help you to grow in a positive direction or do the exact opposite.  The key for us to win at this game of life is to have the right group of folks playing on your team.  To sharpen us as we equally sharpen them.

Have you ever actually seen how iron gets sharpened?  Let’s say a knife for example…..a knife is not sharpened by a napkin, a towel, a piece of bread, meat etc…. A knife may cut these things but over time cutting into them all will make a knife dull so to be as sharp as it can be, it must be kept sharpened.  You all know how you put that knife in the back of the can opener and it starts to sharpen it.  Well if you look back there, don’t you see the same material that the knife is made out of sharpening it?  Yes the same material is used to keep a knife sharpened so that it is bright, sharp, and ready to do what it needs to do and the sharper it is, the better. Just as the sharper we are the better right?   So why would we not want to have friends around us that will equally keep us sharp?

What happens when we have folks around us that do not sharpen us?  It’s like those big stars that have all the YES men around them.  You know the star’s that grow broke or loose their mind.  Even when I think of what happened to Michael Jackson, it makes me think that if the brotha would have had some friends around him keeping him sharp, they would have been saying… “NO Michael you cannot stay on this drug!”  “No Michel you can’t keep taking that, it’s going to kill you!”  Instead he had folks around him that were not sharpening him and giving him whatever he wanted.  This is not the kind of folks you want or need around you as we all know now that if Michaela Jackson had a different set of folks around him, he may still be alive today.

“He who walks with wise men will be wise, but the companion of fools will be destroyed.” – Proverbs 13:20

Now in no way am I saying that Michaela Jackson’s death is the fault of those around him, but what I am saying is that if you have the right group of people around you, it will help you make better decisions, wise choices.  They will give you informed alternatives and intelligent insight as well as constructive criticism and intuitive analysis on every action or decision you will make in your life.   Who does not want that!!! So we must be very strategic about the folks we allow to play on our team.   After all why do you think the NBA or NFL is so picky about who they draft – because they only want players that will play to win.  They only want players that will have informed alternatives and give intelligent insight to the plays that need to happen for the team to win.  Don’t you want the same thing for your life.

“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, for he has no one to help him up.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9 & 10

So having the right friends, the right team is a WONDERFUL thing, they sharpen and improve each other.  They share success and are there to pick one another up when either of them fall. They have complementary personalities, talents and skills so that were you are week, they indeed may be strong. It does not mean that you always get along, but at the end of the day, you know that they always have your back and are there to defend you against the opposing team – the haters!  

The question here is WHO is ON your team?  Are the people closest to you – your sista girls, mentors, confidants and even your man – are they helping you grow?  Are they giving your wise counsel and support? It’s time to take a look at the folks around you to make sure you have a Shaq and a Kobe on your team to help you play to win!  Here are a few quotes to ponder as you think of WHO is ON your team.

“Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions.  Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you can become great.” – Mark Twain

“Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow.  Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead.  Just walk beside me and be my friend.” – Albert Camus

“A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words”  – Unknown

“Much of the vitality in a friendship lies in the honoring of differences, not simply in the enjoyment of similarities.” – Unknown

“True friendship isn’t about being there when it’s convenient; it’s about being there when it’s not” – Unknown




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