Have you noticed that some of your friends are more invigorating to be around than others? They motivate you without even trying, and every time you hang out, you walk away a little bit better of a man in some area. They make you want to step up your game. We’re drawn towards these guys. I call these my irons, because they sharpen me (Proverbs 27:17).
In other friendships you might feel like perhaps you are the one pulling them up. Maybe this person looks up to you and sees you as a mentor. This friendship makes you feel smart and accomplished because it can be flattering to hang around someone that you’re able to help. I call these my clay friendships, because I’m molding them.
Here’s the thing: We need to make sure we have a good balance of both iron and clay in our life. Too much iron and all our self-improvement never has the opportunity to sharpen anyone else. Too much clay and we grow dull ourselves.
Seek out friendships of both iron and clay, so that you’ll be a sharp enough man to serve as the iron for others.