We enjoy people who encourage us and tell us what we like to hear, but do we have people in our lives who tell us what we need to hear? These are people who not only accept us for who we are, but they love us too much to let us stay as we are. We need people who can inspire, challenge, and equip us to achieve that what we could not imagine. King Solomon described this type of relationship,
Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
If you want to improve your behavior, then you need to surround yourself with a group of people who are playing at the level you want to be playing. If you want to be a high-performer, then populate your life with high-performers. Jesus helped people see who they could become. He took a rough around the edges fisherman named Simon and called him Peter.
He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John; you shall be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter). (John 1:42)
Simon’s new name literally meant “The Rock”. I’m sure Peter liked his new name, Jesus gave him a new identity. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe teaches us, “If you treat an individual as he is, he will remain how he is. But if you treat him as if he were what he ought to be and could be, he will become what he ought to be and could be.”
We need people in our lives who can challenge us to leave our valley of small dreams and ascend the mountain of destiny God has for us. You can be comfortable or you can be iconic but you can’t be both.
Those who wish to be comfortable pursue entertainment – those who wish to be iconic pursue education.
Those who wish to be comfortable are content with average – those who wish to be iconic emphasize focus, tenacity, and sacrifice.
Those who wish to be comfortable disrespect time – those who wish to be iconic know the value of time and use their best hours for their most important pursuits.
Those who wish to be comfortable eschew responsibility – those who wish to be iconic take ownership and do not blame others.
Those who wish to be comfortable avoid challenges – those who wish to be iconic press on demonstrating courage and perseverance.
Those who wish to be comfortable lack discipline – those who wish to be iconic realize that discipline is the pathway to freedom.
To have what very few have, you need to do what very few do. Who do you have in your life who can sharpen you to be an instrument for God and who can you come alongside and sharpen?
Associate Pastor – Discipleship. The Church at LifePark
Professor of Discipleship, Columbia International University
Follow me on twitter: rickhiggins5