Regardless of what the movies say, over time the spear was the weapon of choice over the sword. “from Judah, carrying shield and spear—6,800 armed for battle; From the tribe of Judah, there were 6,800 warriors armed with shields and spears.” -1 Chronicles 12:24. For a one on one fight, most warriors would choose the spear. In general, the spear is better for fighting than the sword. The spear was a better frontline weapon that could defeat an opponent from distance. Most frontlines would fight in a shield wall while stabbing their spears forward. The spear was cheaper to make and easier to train soldiers to use. A blacksmith would have to acquire the iron, and get fire hot enough to pound it into a sheet. It takes a ton of effort and time just to make a white-hot sheet of iron. They would have to make several sheets and weld them together in a reheating process. Once completely welded, it had to be quenched with water. Polishing and etching would follow to complete the spear head. They would then use an ash wood for the handle and harden it with linseed oil for a good grip. The handle would be attached with a square nail. This would allow them to replace the handle in case it was broken. When thrusted correctly it had the power to stab deep into a tree.
We are each on a mission each day to make s positive impact, or in other words, “Fight the Good Fight.” We, like the spear, are God’s weapon of choice in the battle for good in this world. However, we are not effective unless we have a process and a mindset. We need to be shaped personally, become a handle professionally, and to thrust forward with servant action.
Be Willing to Be Shaped – Personally
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” -Proverbs 27:17
- Only Iron Sharpens Iron… We need similar people with a solid iron like faith. In other words, people with a foundation, a connection, something in common that binds you together. Could be our faith, interests, the mission, or a goal.
- We need people with certain characteristics in our shaping process: Creative Spirit (heat), Confrontation (beating/grinding), Comfort (cooling down).
- Creative Spirit: Do not go to the Cool People, Go to the Warm People. The ones that see the real you and do not go away. A lot of people are friends with the fake you, but when the real you comes out, they leave. The ones that want to create a better you. Heated Iron is used to reshape the material into something new. People on the same mission and that truly care about you, see you for your true potential. True friends want to shape you into something better and stick by you.
- Confrontation: True friends will confront you about real issues that hold you back from becoming something better. We often can take this defensively like we are being accused. Accusation is what the world does, confrontation is working to solve an issue. It is not comfortable and some sparks may certainly fly. Think back to when a true friend challenged you for the better. “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” -Proverbs 27: 5-6
- Comfort: People that really see all of you and you are ok with being exposed. You do not have to manage each other’s emotions and know deep down that you care. People that could really wound you but they choose to speak into the deepest place of pain. They don’t go away and are the comfort you seek at critical times. The iron needs heat and grinding, but has to be cooled as well. “The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense.” – Proverbs 27:9
Become The Handle For The Organization- Professionally
“The one who keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit, and whoever protects their master will be honored.”- Proverbs 27:18
- “The one who keeps the fig tree will eat its fruit… The fig tree was found in Canaan or the “Promised Land”, it was considered more valued than other trees and had great fruit. This passage means that the one that cultivates, prunes, and does everything necessary for it to grow will be able to reap the rewards of its fruit. We are given opportunity in our profession for a reason. As coaches, we are a valuable influence for young people and we need to cultivate and prune to be the best we can be for our players. We have all seen people with a mentality of only wanting the fruit and could care less about the tree. It is about what they can get from an organization over what they can do for the organization. When we focus on what is best for the people we serve, then organizational and personal rewards take care of themselves.
- “and whoever protects their master will be honored… This refers to who protects leadership from danger/problems, and is faithfully committed to being trustworthy. It is not demeaning to sacrifice personal pride to serve leadership for a greater cause, it should be an honor to do so. We all have to be obedient to a higher authority. We are to be a servant first, this is the example that Christ gives us with his life. Good servants obtain honor through diligent service. In coaching, some want honor from leadership before we have shown loyalty and commitment. We can expect to be lifted up before our action deserves it. Studies show that these people have a feeling that something is wrong all the time and they find ways to justify it. People working for deep life-giving relationships are better at their jobs. Their real life is found in their relationships, not in promoting their job status. In the work place, these people create a snowball effect on culture, climate, and productivity.
- Point being, that when you focus of the tree the fruit will take care of itself. Everyone will experience greater success and opportunity. When one only focuses on the fruit, the tree will eventually die.
Become The Thrust – Act & Serve
“As water reflects the face,
so one’s life reflects the heart.” -Proverbs 27:19
- We are called not just to be sharpened and be willing to commit ourselves to a greater purpose.We are called to Action! Remember, when thrusted correctly it had the power to stab deep into a tree. Our plan and daily action reflects what we really believe in our heart. Our job is to be known in relationships and life impact. We are going to have some type of relationship with all in our organization whether you want to or not. It is up to you on how you want to define that relationship.
- Consistent servant action takes the choice of trust and grace. We need to choose to trust people and give grace for mistakes. Even true friends will disappoint at times. That is why Jesus gives us the example of grace. I mean, Don’t we disappoint at times? One thing that holds us back in grace is our own pride and we can see that big time in organizations. Many will only help people or staff as long as it provides self-advancement. That cannot be our reflection for our culture. The world wants to teach you that you can be self-sufficient. We have to turn and trust Jesus and trust the people that he has placed in our lives. Who are the people he keeps bringing to you? You need to be the safe person, not the perfect person. Someone that they can grow with, you will thrust them forward. The more we move toward God and thrust in his direction, the more clarity we gain for our lives.
We are “Developers of People”, allow yourself to be changed into a better weapon for God’s purpose, humble yourself and commit to the greater purpose in your profession, then be apart of the solution and thrust yourself into action for deep impact!