I was dressing Titus (my two-year old) for church yesterday. I had the phone on my shoulder with my head tilted while maintaining a conversation with my father. Titus, being who he is, would not stop moving as he adamantly exclaimed, “I don’t like this shirt!” My dad busted out in laughter as I continued to wrestle Titus. I told my dad, “Titus is so stubborn!”
Titus responded, “I IS SO STUBBORN!”
A routine Sunday morning suddenly turned into a “truth moment.” Titus repeated exactly what I said to him; it didn’t matter that he was grammatically incorrect. He listened to what I said and he repeated it. I thought about the profound influence I have over his life as his mother and the influences others will no doubt have over him someday. (Side note, he heard someone says “boobs” and now that is his favorite word to describe female anatomy. The influence is REAL!)
Looking at my life I have come to realize that although I’m 22 (okay, 30ish-ish) I have to be watchful over who I allow in my life and the influence they have. Everyone I speak with doesn’t belong at my dinner table. Likewise, everyone I disagree with isn’t an enemy. The Bible is clear in Proverbs 27:17 “iron sharpens iron.” When iron meets, the blades sharpen one another. Have you ever seen a chef sharpen her knife on a wooden chopping board? Nope; it would dull the knife and damage the wood! This is the same for us. We have to be prayerful and watch the circle we run with. We should be sharpening one another and challenging one another to do better and to reach new heights. Some of us would benefit from loving people from a distance and surrounding ourselves with iron, not wood.
Watch for complacent friends who never push themselves or have any goals. Be on the lookout for gossiping friends, for you just may be the topic of discussion when you turn your back. Keep an eye out for people who never celebrate your accomplishments or people who only come around when they need something. Pay close attention to these people because if you stay around them long enough they may have a negative influence over your life before you realize.
People frequently do “social media cleaning” where they delete friends on their pages. I challenge us all to evaluate the relationships in our lives and the influence they may have.
It’s time to sharpen our blades.