God’s Word for Today: Dull. I suppose these daily writings have at one time or another been attached to today’s word. If they have a tendency to fit this description for you, we apologize. Sometimes life has a way of sliding into the category of dull. That is when most people make their biggest mistakes.
I always knew which days Mom was planning on butchering the next batch of frying chickens. First thing in the morning, Dad would be sitting at the kitchen table with his wet stone, sharpening the butcher knife that he used to remove their heads and Mom subsequently used to cut the chickens up in the perfect pieces, ready for the frying pan. The sound of the butcher knife sliding against the coarse stone sent chills straight up a person’s spine. It was only a minute step away from fingernails on a chalkboard.
Soon, the knife would be the required sharpness for the task ahead. Dad would put away the wet stone and go back to enjoying his morning coffee. I never did ask Dad how he determined required sharpness. Nor did I ever ask him if the knife was really that dull before he grinded for what seemed like endless minutes. And regretfully, I never asked for the chance to let him teach me how to properly sharpen a dull butcher knife with a simple wet stone. Oh, the wisdom I missed out on in so many subjects because of the stubbornness and independence of my youth.
The picture I have included, (in today's poll) shows a rather inexpensive machete and its accompanying file. I bought this machete here in Paraguay at my favorite hardware store. This particular machete I picked out of the rather extensive selection of machetes, for two reasons. First, it was the biggest one they had. (I have a tendency to always purchase the largest item, even if it doesn’t make sense.) And second, I chose this machete because it came with the file at no additional cost. It was just like a late night TV ad, “but wait, if you buy now, we will include……”. The marketing technique worked. I selected said machete and file, made my purchase, and life was good.
I have since discovered that there was a reason for the file to be included. Even though this machete was made in the famous knife manufacturing city of Solingen, Germany, is was in fact, only about $8. I had got exactly what I paid for. A machete that has a tendency to dull quickly. For every 1000 strikes with the machete, I must make at least 100 passes with the file, to keep the machete reasonably sharp. I believe I have mastered the sharpening thing. Still wish I had learned Dad’s perfect wet stone sharpening technique.
Ecclesiastes 10:10. If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed, but skill will bring success.
When one first reads this verse, it seems like the writer (King Solomon) was saying that it is ok if your ax is dull as long as you have some skill, you will be ok. That is how I read it anyway. Maybe I was reverting back to the shortcut days of my youth. I believe King Solomon was actually telling a person to use some skill, sharpen the ax, and you will then have success with a lot less strength.
You could also read this verse as saying the dull ax gives you two choices. One, if your ax is dull, just use your muscles and hit harder. Or, if you save a certain skillset with an ax, you will be OK. Both analogies make sense. I will let you decide which one fits best.
We need to apply this scripture to our Christian walk. It is referring to your mindset as you go through each day of your life. If your ax (your knowledge and practice of gaining more of God’s word) is dull, it will take more strength to get thru each day. It will take more strength to avoid the temptations of this world that want really, really bad to pull you away from your commitment to God. Eventually, if you remain dull in His word, you will become exhausted.
But, if you use the skillset of the Spirit you were given when you accepted Jesus as your Savior, you will be ok. You will have success. Use the wet stones of Devotions, Bible study, and especially prayer, to begin to sharpen your ax.
You see, the Spirit not only gives you the means to talk honestly and openly with God. The Spirit in your heart also gives you the desire to forever sharpen your mind with the Word of God. You long, to daily study your favorite devotions. You hunger, to take a few moments and read some Scripture in the Bible. You find, the benefits of prayer. You don’t want to be the dull ax.
Today, review how dull the ax of your Christian walk is. Are you doing what you need to do to stay sharp? Or, are you relying on skill to get you by for awhile? Any way you look at it, one can easily become dull. What do you need to do today to sharpen the gifts God has blessed you with? Don’t be happy with dull. Don’t regret not learning what your Father would love to teach you…………….
Prayer: My dearest Heavenly Father, Dad of everlasting life. I thank you for all the knowledge you are ready to share with me. Forgive me for letting my ax get dull. Forgive me for not taking the time to sharpen my knowledge and love for you Lord. Today, help me to get my wet stone back out. I have some dull edges in my life that need your attention God. I need to be sharp so I can help others. In Jesus’, whose ax was sharp as he cut down death, name I pray. Amen.