No, I’m not wondering if your iron levels are low and you are anemic…
Through a thoughtful and honest conversation with a friend about faith and the real difficulty in trying to find people around in the workplace, church, and social circles that encourage real, authentic growth in her faith, I started to ponder what it means to be a person who helps that growth and not hinders it.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17
Surround yourself with Iron – Personally, I appreciate the people in my life who challenge me and encourage me to grow personally and in my faith. I think it’s important to be a life-long learner and to not remain stagnant in your relationship with God. In my personal and professional life, I find that I constantly surround myself with people who set goals for themselves, plan for their future, and challenge themselves to become better people. I do this because it challenges me to do the same for myself. If I was surrounded by people who were complacent in their own growth, then that could rub off and easily I could also begin to not care about moving forward or making progress in my own life. It is important to surround yourself with people who are going to encourage, inspire, motivate, challenge, and hold you accountable, so that you can become the best person that you can be.
Be the Iron – What I also realize is that I often look towards others to be the provides of iron in my life, but may not realize that there may be people looking to me to be the iron in their lives. It really changes my perspective in who I am and who I am reflecting. When people look at me am I reflecting myself or am I reflecting Christ in my life? It is so important to realize that people are always watching to see how you act; what you say or don’t say; how you follow through; how you love or forgive. Recognizing this responsibility is about becoming a constant source of iron in the lives of those around you too.
Create a Spark! – I think in understanding this proverb is to be iron, surround yourself with iron, and thus create a spark when interacting to push each other towards growing and maturing in your relationship with God. This can easily be done by asking one another questions like, “What is God doing in your life right now?; What are you learning in your Bible study times?; How can I pray for you today?; What things do you need to work on, get rid of, or add more of in your life that I can help hold you accountable to? How are you challenging yourself to grow in your faith?” These are simple questions that can spark profound conversations for one another to challenge growth and ‘consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds’ (Hebrews 10:24).
By having sufficient iron in your life, you and those around you cannot help, but become sharper iron as well. Who is the iron in your life? How can you be the iron in someone else’s life?