Iron Sharpening Iron

By Corey Willms

Sometimes we need a kick in the butt.  There was a time in the course of the last month when a very close friend of mine challenged me about something that they thought I should work on.  In their opinion, I was being a bit selfish with my time.  Like most things in life, there is a tension between two extremes, and the proper balance is somewhere in between.  As far as time goes, there is a balance between making sure that you are able to fulfill your responsibilities, but also to spend time recharging by listening to God (which could be through prayer, listening to good teaching, and worshipping to name a few) and doing other activities that “fill up your cup.”  The cup filling activities include hobbies and spending time with people who give you energy.  The tricky thing is that the balance needs to be adjusted sometimes, depending on the circumstances.  According to my friend, I was a little too vocal about when I felt that I was not getting enough time for my hobbies.  As a result, I was sending an unintentional message to some people that I would rather be golfing or biking or something like that instead of spending time with them.  I did not want to send this message, because the truth is that I love spending time with them, and I love spending time doing my hobbies.  Both are very important.

Two things needed to happen.  I first had to avoid the temptation to blame someone else for the way that I was acting, and then I needed to change my attitude.  I hope that you have friends in your life who can tell you the hard things that you need to hear because they love you and care about you.  If you don’t, you need to intentionally seek one out.  I was very thankful that I had a friend in my life who was courageous enough to do this.  One of my favourite verses is Proverbs 27:17 which says, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”  I encouraged my friend to continue challenging me whenever they noticed something in my life that was not quite right.  My attitude needed an adjustment.  I needed to make sure that I was fully there for people when I was with them.  Thankfully, things have been going better in that regard.   Quite frankly, I needed to stop complaining about how I was spending my time, and I needed to be more intentional about making sure that the important things get done each day.  Just being a bit more organized in setting up some routines has helped already.  I needed to make sure that my heart was fully engaged in each thing that I was doing.

As I have been reading in the Book of Luke this spring, I have been reminded of how Jesus spent time alone in between his ministry to others.  He “got his cup filled” before He “poured Himself out” to others.  When Jesus was with others, he was fully there for them, with tremendous compassion.  We need to be recharged in order to be there for the people that God brings across our path.  I would encourage you to struggle, as I have been, with finding the balance between recharging and pouring out.  Too much of either is unhealthy.

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