Wasting Time With the Dull Blades

Day 27 in Proverbs

Proverbs 27:17 “Just as iron sharpens iron, friends sharpen the minds of each other.”
Proverbs 27:19 “You see your face in a mirror and your thoughts in the minds of others.”

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I like hanging out with people who are better than me.  I like it when they are smarter, I like it when they are wittier, I like it when they are kinder, I like it when they are more talented, I like it when they are more resourceful, I like it when they are more handy, I like it when they have more style.  Should I go on?  I could. But I enjoy being around them.  I think, perhaps, it just may rub off on me! In fact, I believe often it does.  My thought is that if you are my friend, I virtually share in all that you are.  OK, maybe it is not really true…..but in my mind….it works!  And usually my friends are very good sharers….so it is very true.  Who they are, they share with me.

You need friends who sharpen you.  Who cause you to think more.  Who cause you to care more.  Who cause you to know yourself better and to care about the person you are becoming.  Who pay attention to details that you neglect to see.

I think perhaps there is something in us that has a tendency to grow dull.  To want to stay right where we are, in our easy chair with a beer and a bag of chips.  Or in my case, with a book on one side, my laptop on the other, and a piece of chocolate cake somewhere in the vicinity.  As an introvert, I could quite happily hang out by myself with a stack of books and live in a fantasy world.  But at the end of my life, would I consider that be a life well spent?  A long time ago I decided the answer to that questions was “NO!”  (LOL…. though yes, on certain days I still sometimes answer that question with a resounding “YES!”  But really….I wouldn’t.) 

When we look at our mirror we should see our true face.  But how many see ourselves as we really are and how many see an illusion?  Our perception of ourselves doesn’t always reflect what others see.  For example, I have heard people say they are patient, laid back people, and yet when I look at them I see an intensity that seems to indicate that below the surface they are always on edge.  I have seen gorgeous people who look and see someone who is fat and ugly.  I have seen smart people who have no confidence in their intelligence.  I have also seen people who think they are the brightest star in the sky, and nope….they are only that in their own minds.

I like having people around me that have my thoughts in their mind.  Knowing me means they see who I really am.  I have sometimes been floored when a friend has challenged something I say, because it doesn’t quite line up with other things I have said.  This happens on occasion because with my ADD mind, sometimes my focus gets off on a tangent and I get mentally lazy.  It’s especially stunning when they are people who don’t believe the same way I do, don’t think the same way I do, but have grown to know how my mind works and know I am not using it.  They want us to continue talking through the issues we differ on, and if I let my mind get lazy, the conversation is quite unproductive.  So it is a matter of saying “Focus on who you are, Kim.  Focus on what you believe.  Get it all in line, because we need to figure this stuff out!”

One thing about mirror images, about seeing our reflection.  It’s not totally us.  But to have good friends around who know who we are, we can start to see what parts are real and what are just illusions.  That’s not to say that because someone who knows us well tells us something about ourselves, it is always true.  They are also operating with this illusion thing.  But when they tell us something, we should consider what they say, and from that try to determine the truth.  To really grow, we need to have a good picture of who we really are, and who we really want to be.

When iron sharpens iron, you get two sharper knives that have more ability to do what they were designed to do.  You can hang out with the knives who are willing to be sharpened or you can hang out with the dull blades.  You will see your reflection in their metal.

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