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17 Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17

Ekume and his wife, Naima, went to the city to run errands. There, they met a radio presenter, Naanye, who runs a popular show. They got to talking and struck a friendship. He explained how his show works to the couple.

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He gets an interesting hypothetical story complete with locations and names. Sometimes they are stories of actual people with names and locations changed. He shares it with the listeners. They debate it at length. People who are interested call in and share their views. Some even share similar stories. Meanwhile, in-studio, he has panellists who help in the debate.

His panellists are usually lawyers, doctors, carpenters, builders, and other professionals with knowledge and expertise. Apart from sharing more information on the topic, they explain how to avoid it, what to do fast if they experience it, and even how to alert the authorities if they suspect something. They also reveal any laws or current goings-on in government concerning the issue, international concerns, and then some pertinent advice that will help people to act fast if they think something like that is happening. Listeners call in or connect through social media platforms. The show is usually animated while it lasts. 

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He solicited the couple’s support because they were both creative writers. They accepted the challenge and immediately sent a story when they returned home. Their story aired and was debated intensely. Their following entries all gathered a lot of patronages. This collegial collaboration continued for several weeks. Soon enough, the two families, Naanye’s and Ekume’s, were close – they even went out together when time permitted. Naanye challenged Ekume, and Ekume supported Naanye.

The Bible supports this kind of relationship in Pro 27:17, where it says, “you use steel to sharpen steel, and one friend sharpens another”. Sometimes in life, we meet some people who help us increase our value and efforts towards creating a better version of ourselves. They give us bait. And since that bait looks, smells, feels, and even sounds juicy, we grab it with both hands. These are your real friends. Age cannot be a hindrance, they could even be your spouse.

Whether we are students, workers, or live-ins, we need to learn to surround ourselves with people who can help us to grow. These are people who increase us. They are not afraid to speak their minds. They share information that will help us to grow, and if something is off about us, they wisely confront us. They force us to review our motives and reorder our priorities. Otherwise, our confidantes would cause us to not grow as we should. Identifying these people can be knotty. However, every effort to find such people pays us both in cash and kind.

1 Thessalonians 5 verse 11 encourages us to engage such activities. In fact, Hebrews 10: 24,25 begins by asking us to create in each other, a desire for good works. Do you have at least one such person as a human being, son, daughter, student, worker, spouse, leader, child of God, and/or hustler? Learning to recognise such people is another story. But the presence of even one such person is of tremendous advantage to you and me. Find one for your own self.