Iron Sharpens Iron.
Everyone doesn't grow at the same pace, but every person should be growing at a certain pace. God will remove people from your life who are not growing at the pace set for them. There are people in my life who I teach, and people in my life who teach me. Sometimes they overlap, but the point is this: we are all growing.
Proverbs 27:17 says iron sharpens iron. So, if a person is not growing rapidly enough (once again, the time frame is relative), they become dull. One who is dull can not have a positive effect on one who is sturdy like iron. God will remove them, or remove you.
Now see, teaching isn't just the teaching we immediately think of in the traditional sense. It includes that, but it also touches on observance or indirect teaching. The old saying goes, "more is caught than taught". You can teach or be taught by making right decisions or seeing someone else live a certain way. There are many people who I've taught who have an exceptional way of encouraging people that made me learn how to do it more myself. Me teaching them was intentional, them teaching me through observance was indirect.
Also, since we are all unique individuals, we all have a potential perspective on something that no one else on the planet has. Earlier I had conversation with a friend who wanted spiritual advice about her little brother. I gave her a 30 second sermon that helped her. A few moments later, she spoke to me for about 10 minutes on food and health. She left me speechless.
What am I saying? Make sure the people in your life add value to it while you are adding value to them. Iron sharpens iron. If not, don't be surprised when relationships disintegrate, romance dies, friendships get awkward or family becomes distant.
Interestingly enough, I'm also learning that someone being removed from your life (even if it's just for a season) doesn't necessarily mean they are out of sight out of mind; it means their influence on certain things no longer inspires you like it once did. Deep conversations turn into small talk. Love remains, but certain parts of the soul separate. This is a form of protection for you, so you can continue to be sharpened, and not dulled.
1 Timothy 4:15 states: "Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress."
Like we said before, everyone doesn't grow at the same rate, but every person should be growing at a certain rate. Your progress is your progress, but it should be fruitful. There should be evidence. There should be evidence in the growth of everyone who has a voice in your life. Something should be advancing, whether it be wisdom, skills, finances, health, love, character... something. Going around in circles in every area of life is not growth.