“Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another.” (Proverbs 27:17, CSB)
Have you ever paused long enough to be thankful for the people in your life? The friends and family members who continue to shape you, encourage you, support you, and teach you. It has been refreshing to me to do this over the last month, and I would encourage you to do the same.
Whether you realize it or not, the people around you sharpen you. Recently I’ve had this thought: I can’t believe that I get to know him/her. I have been so blessed by seeing how people around me use their abilities and giftedness to serve the Lord and others, and their commitments sharpen me. We might not be in the same line of work, but their character is refreshing and leaves me proud to know them and learn from them.
I am so proud of people around me doing some incredible things: publishing books, leading university bands, motivating people in their organization as a supervisor, single mothers taking on the world, a dad who works hard hours and still serves his wife and young child well–I could just keep going on. They may not realize they are teaching anyone anything as they are accomplishing the world, but their skills, determination, and integrity are sharpening me.
We should be grateful for friends! Here are a few ideas on how you can show appreciation to these people in their lives:
- Tell them you are grateful. Seems simple, but have you? Tell them face-to-face or send a note somehow.
- Listen well and don’t control the time you are together. It is easy to dominate conversations because we are naturally selfish, but taking time to really listen to others shows them how valuable they are to you.
- Get into their world. Show interest in what they value. Support their hobbies and events and try new activities with them. I would have never climbed Seneca Rock if my friends didn’t invite me; and I would not have learned a lot of valuable lessons through that trip.
- Be humble. This might be the necessary attitude behind all of these ideas, but if we do not consider others more highly than ourselves (Phil. 2:3), then we might not be in a position to have friends around!
How do you show appreciation for the people around you?