(Prov 27:17 NLT) As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.
This morning we continue our “Unlocking the Power of Proverbs – Walking in the Wisdom of God” series. Whatever measure of success I have experienced in life I can attribute to the key individuals the Father has used to help develop me into the person I am today. If you would be honest, you are who you are and where you are today, because of the people God has used to help shape, form, develop, mold, and mature you.
We all need others. There are no lone-rangers in Christ. I believe there are (at least) three key positions we all must fill with people who are ordained of God to be in our lives. The first position is one that should be filled by who I call a “Paul.” We all need a Paul: a mentor, guide, someone who already is where we want to be, and who is willing to invest in us by showing us how they got there. Paul said, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ” (1 Cor 11:1). Paul was willing to mentor and those who were willing to receive his mentorship benefited greatly. The next position is one that should be filled by who I call a “Barnabas.” We all need a Barnabas: someone on equal par with us, who we can share life experiences with, who we can sharpen and who can keep us sharp! We all know about Paul and his amazing life – how he wrote half the New Testament and went on four missionary journeys – but if you study it out you will realize that we may have never known of Paul if it were not for Barnabas. When no one else believed in Paul, Barnabas did. Barnabas was his friend and he helped Paul start his ministry. The last position should be filled by who I call a “Timothy.” We all need a Timothy: someone we can mentor, who wants to be where we already are, and who is open to receive from us. Just like people saw something in us worth investing in, we should seek to do the same for others. We are to look for and pray about those who God has ordained to be in our lives, so that we can mentor them in the ways that we have been mentored. Just like we have been sharpened, we must seek to sharpen others.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
1. None of us knows it all. Allow God to develop you through mentoring relationships and also make yourself available to pour into others (the things that have been poured into you).
2. Select Godly mentors and friends: Your mentors and friends can enable you to accomplish much more than you ever will alone.
3. Fill all three positions: Pray about these positions and select your Paul (who already is where you want to be), your Barnabas (who is on the same level with you), and your Timothy (who wants to be where you already are). By filling these positions with one or more people, you can enjoy a fruitful life, full of thriving and helpful relationships.
4. Maximize every learning opportunity. When you sense God has put you in the presence of someone who can teach you something, then put yourself in “receive mode.” If their experience far exceeds yours and they are willing to teach you, then the greatest thing you can do is listen. Don’t blow the opportunity by doing all the talking.
Closing Confession: Father, I thank You for blessing me to have thriving and Godly relationships. I can’t maximize my purpose and potential without others. I pray about and fill the position of the Paul in my life. You bless me to connect with people who already are where I want to be and who are willing to invest in my life and future. I grant them ‘right of passage’ to speak into my life and I receive what they say. I also pray about and fill the position of the Barnabas in my life. I have great relationships with my peers. They support me and they are also honest with me when I need to make critical changes. They are a blessing to me and I am a blessing to them. We keep each other sharp and we grow together. And lastly Father, I pray about and fill the position of the Timothy in my life. I am humbled and grateful that You send people in my life for me to help develop. I mentor them as I have been mentored. I pour into them the things that have been poured in me. I seek to bless them as I have been blessed! I declare this all by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
This is Today’s Word! Apply it and Prosper!