The Vertical Relationship Between Men
A man must be sharpened like a knife blade
A knife is sharpened by a whetstone. While water is used to lubricate the whetstone prior to sharpening that is not where the “whet” part comes from. To whet actually means to sharpen, like with a man’s appetite and his curiosity. In other words, to whet both blade and man is to put an edge on, with a result that is sharp, dynamic and ready to cut. The unsharpened man is dull and lethargic, in-Effective as a Leader and ill-Prepared for the Obstacles he will face in his life.
Just as a man’s appetite for pure food must be whetted, so must his appetite for the heavy responsibility that comes with Leadership . The Q acts as the Stone to the younger man’s Blade , providing the hard surface against which he becomes sharper and whetting his appetite for greater responsibility.
Hard looks and straight talk (tempered by love) get results
Because the desire of an older man to pass on what he has learned to a younger man is natural, the vertical relationship between Stone and Blade has existed since men first sought the Advantage of gathering together into Communities. But like all relationships, it takes skill and effort for the Whetstone to work. To obtain that skill, a Q does not wait until he is retired to begin practicing it. He is about the business of Sharpening younger men even while he himself is being Sharpened.
Sharpening does not happen by accident. It must be done with Deliberatude within a vertical relationship between two men who set out to see it happen. It works best between men who are not at the same point of their journey. For a Blade to be Sharpened properly, the Stone must be the harder of the two, at least for a season.
Like the Shield Lock, the Whetstone is a relationship that is subject to the 3P: it must be Proximate, Purposeful and periodic to be Effective.
Read More WHETSTONE: The vertical relationship between men. (Q1.8).
1 John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin.
A Song of Ascents. Of David. Behold, how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell in unity!
And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.
- “Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.” Larry Winget
- “To be successful you must accept all challenges that come your way. You can’t just accept the ones you like.” Mike Gafka
- “Be content to act, and leave the talking to others.” Baltasar
Daily Storytelling Time
Mother’s father worked as a carpenter. On this particular day, he was building some crates for the clothes his church was sending to some orphanage in China. On his way home, he reached into his shirt pocket to find his glasses, but they were gone. When he mentally replayed his earlier actions, he realized what happened; the glasses had slipped out of his pocket unnoticed and fallen into one of the crates, which he had nailed shut. His brand new glasses were heading for China!
The Great Depression was at it’s height and Grandpa had six children. He had spent $20 for those glasses that very morning. He was upset by the thought of having to buy another pair. “It’s not fair,” he told God as he drove home in frustration. “I’ve been very faithful in giving of my time and money to your work, and now this.”
Several months later, the director of the orphanage was on furlough in the United States. He wanted to visit all the churches that supported him in China, so he came to speak one Sunday at my grandfather’s small church in Chicago. The missionary began by thanking the people for their faithfulness in supporting the orphanage. “But most of all,” he said, “I must thank you for the glasses you sent last year. You see, the Communists had just swept through the orphanage, destroying everything, including my glasses. I was desperate. Even if I had the money, there was simply no way of replacing those glasses.
Along with not being able to see well, I experienced headaches every day, so my coworkers and I were much in prayer about this. Then your crates arrived. When my staff removed the covers, they found a pair of glasses lying on top.
The missionary paused long enough to let his words sink in. Then, still gripped with the wonder of it all, he continued: “Folks, when I tried on the glasses, it was as though they had been custom-made just for me! I want to thank you for being a part of that.”
The people listened, happy for the miraculous glasses. But the missionary surely must have confused their church with another, they thought. There were no glasses on their list of items to be sent overseas. But sitting quietly in the back, with tears streaming down his face, an ordinary carpenter realized the Master Carpenter had used him in an extraordinary way.