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This past week, Luz has been doing her best to get me into the habit of running. Man, was she relentless!

  • She brought me and Dahl to a fancy Chinese restaurant.
  • She sends encouraging words on Facebook.
  • She shares tips on diet and exercise.
  • She took us to a nice coffee shop for more “sales talk.”
  • And finally, she brought us to a shoe store where she paid part of the cost of my first pair of running shoes.

The picture shows Luz flashing her victory smile. Her recruitment efforts are paying off. Her stated desire is for us to follow her example: run 10 kilometers every day and go for longer runs on Saturdays. Yikes!

I thank Luz because I know that her pursuit goes beyond simply wanting me to join her runners’ club. I know that she wants me to experience the joys and benefits of good health which the discipline of running brings to her life. She has painted a great picture of my future…one that is characterized by sustained good health and energy as I seek to fulfill God’s purposes in my life.

Proverbs 27:17 teaches one mark of true friendships: “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” The word “sharpen” means “to make glad, to grow, to be joined together.” The principle is clear. Just as iron sharpens iron, a friend influences someone to grow, be productive and be useful in one or more areas of his or her life. This often results in gladness of heart.

Sharpening happens in the context of friendships. A knife cannot sharpen itself. Similarly, we need friends who are willing to tell us the truth about our relationship with God, how we live our lives, how we take care of our bodies, and so on. I thank God for many friends who help keep me sharp. And I do realize that others also need my positive influence so that they would stay sharp…growing, productive and useful for the glory of God.

Do you have friends with clear intentions of keeping you sharp? Ojala.

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