If an ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed but skill will bring success. Ecclesiastes 10:10
Life is not meant to be full of endless activity and busyness, without pause it loses its edge. A life worth living is one that takes the time to sharpen its skills. Skill-sharpening is an investment that will serve you well the rest of your life. Do not settle for mediocrity, by God’s grace seek to be the best in your life roles. Your commitment to sharpen yourself is much like that of a farmer. A wise farmer will use his seasonal down time to upgrade, replace, and repair his equipment. He literally sharpens the tips of his plow, rebuilds the tractor engines, and upgrades and cleans his equipment.
A prepared farmer will not only survive, but will thrive with this type of motivation to always improve. In the same spirit, there is a time to execute and a time to regroup and sharpen yourself for the next initiative. A person with sharpened skills is an effective tool in the hand of God. He wants to use you to your full potential. Your part is to continually improve. Your activities and work will produce more lasting results when you take the time to hone heaven’s gifts.
God wants to use your life to cut through life’s issues the way a sharp knife slices through a juicy ripe tomato. A skilled concert pianist practices the piano. A skilled writer searches out new words and becomes engrossed in sentence structure. A skilled speaker learns how to understand his audience and communicate his point in a variety of ways. A skilled mom quizzes other moms on how to become a better mother. A skilled golfer continues to hit balls way after the tournament ends; he smashes the little white spheres into the night. So, seek out new ways to keep your mind sharp and engaged in new ideas.
Read about and learn from wise leaders of the faith whose writings have stood the test of time. Books are tremendous skill-sharpeners. Join a book club to ramp up your commitment and accountability. You can attend seminars or pursue a graduate degree. Use a variety of tools to stay sharp. Sparks fly when steel is sharpened, which means there will be some discomfort and growing pains. You are either moving forward or shrinking backward; there is no standing still. As you sharpen your skills, you are moving forward. You are stewarding God’s talents and gifts to their fullest. Swinging at issues with a dull life will lead you to the brink of giving up.
Sharpen your mind with the Word of God. Nothing sharpens a mind like wisdom from above. God’s principles are like a whit rock on a battered blade. He smoothes the jagged edges of your roughed up life. Like an axe that has become chipped and blunt over time, your life is refurbished by God till it regains its radiant and shiny silver edge. Discover your skills through assessments and the counsel of others. A hint: when you operate within your skill set, executing the plan is almost effortless. Stay sharp, and your skills may swing open some impressive doors.
Wisdom says, “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29).
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© 2013 by Boyd Bailey. All rights reserved.
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