Sep 08 2014

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God Quotes: Sharpen the Ax

Sharpen the Ax

Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed. (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭10‬:‭10‬ NLT)


This is from Ecclesiaties written by Solomon at the end of his life. These are his God-inspired words of wisdom.


I have not used an ax, but I have used a dull knife. It is so much more work to cut with a dull knife, and it is easier to cause injury. With a sharp knife, the cutting is easier and the results are just better. Want to know if your knife is dull or sharp? Try to slice a tomato. If it is dull, the tomato will get squashed under the pressure. If it is sharp, the knife will cut easily and sharply.

Sharpen the ax

Most knives need to be sharpened. It takes skill to know how to sharpen a knife. It takes time and tools to sharpen the knife. (I imagine this is true for an ax as well.) Once the effort of sharpening is completed, the blade is ready to be used–and used well.

What is your ax?

In life, it seems easier to redouble our efforts in the areas we struggle. If we have a poor relationship, just try harder, we think. This can be true for work, our spiritual life, or personal goals as well. Just try harder. And we do. We try until we are exhausted only to find ourselves not much better and filled with discouragement. Just try harder is replaced with Why bother at it, I’m not going to succeed at it anyway. Sadly, the cure isn’t in all our efforts as much as it is in stepping back to sharpen our ax.


  • In marriage, sharpening relationship skills is key. Sharpen listening skills.
  • In parenting, sharpening clear expectation is key. Take time to know what your expectations are and to clearly communicate it to your children.
  • In your spiritual life, sharpening is best done in the context of community. Find other people who are an encouragement to walk with the Lord–people with whom you can be open and honest.
  • In your professional life, sharpening may come in the form of a class or a book. Read, study, learn. Sharpen your skills and develop.

Success. If you want to be successful in life, sharpen your ax. Working with a dull ax is a waste. Decide today how you plan on starting the sharpening process. Connect with God in this. If He guides the process, He can give the grace and strength to do it. In the end, any success that God calls worthwhile is true success. Success at something that is worthless is a failure. May we all strive to succeed in what is truly important.


A prayer

Father, help me to walk in wisdom. I want to sharpen in all the areas you have given responsibility. I want to be a better wife and mother as well as writer and friend. I want to grow and develop and learn how to work at it with a sharp blade. While I want to be successful, help me to succeed at what is important to you and to succeed in the way you define success. In Jesus name, amen.


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