Athletes, hang with wise friends
Proverbs 13:20 (NASB)
One who walks with wise people will be wise, but a companion of fools will suffer harm.
The NFL starting defensive end explained over our weekly lunch that he would be released from the team before the next season. With a new head coach about to be hired, the defense would be revamped and his strengths would not fit the new system. He then asked me for parting advice: “If you were 30 again, what would you make a priority?”
“I would find a friend who would wrestle me to the ground over critical issues that I refused to see in my life.”
Growing up on an Iowa farm, I often watched my dad sharpen tools from knife blades to mower blades on a grinding wheel made of coarse stone or similar hardened material. Sharpening always produced heat and a shower of sparks. Sharpened tools made work more productive.
The writer of Proverbs paints a similar picture: “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NASB)
We need friends like that in an unhinged culture. We are too easily sidetracked, too easily deceived, too overconfident of what we can handle in life by ourselves. Emotional issues easily derail us from applying biblical responses. We were never created to do life alone.
I need friends who:
- Reinforce biblical truth
- Remind me what Jesus would do and say
- Realign my attitudes to biblical responses
- Reconstruct damaged relationships
The ultimate friendship we need to cultivate is with Jesus. He told His disciples that He regarded them as His friends. He fulfilled the ultimate test of friendship; He laid down His life for us (John 15:13). His responses to conflict, criticism and rejection were written, not just as a set of rules, but as the wisdom and love of a friend.
Today’s devotional is one of five this week on “Living In An Unhinged Culture” by Tom Petersburg.
Tom Petersburg, www.catapultministries.org