October 7, 2010

Sharpened Skills

Written by Wisdom Hunters

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- October 7, 2010

“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 endless activity and busyness—without pause, or it loses its edge. A life worth living takes the time to sharpen its skills. Skill sharpening is an investment that serves someone for a lifetime. There is a rhythm in work that requires time to improve our gifts and abilities, so we do not become mediocre or at worst obsolete.

A wise farmer uses his transition time between seasons to upgrade, replace and repair his equipment. He literally sharpens the tips of his plow, rebuilds the tractor engines and upgrades his farming equipment. The diligent farmer will not only survive but will thrive with this type of ever improving mindset. Like the wise farmer we trust God to provide.

“You may ask, “What will we eat in the seventh year if we do not plant or harvest our crops?” I will send you such a blessing in the sixth year that the land will yield enough for three years” (Leviticus 25:20-21). Where we wait and prepare, the Lord provides.

There is a time to execute and there is a time to regroup and better ourselves for the next initiative. Sharpened skills are an effective tool in the hand of God. He wants to use you to your full potential. Your activities and work will produce more lasting results when you take the time to hone your skills. God wants to use your life to cut through life’s issues like a sharp knife slicing through a juicy ripe tomato. Submitted skills fulfill His will.

A skilled concert pianist practices the piano. A skilled writer, reads well, searches out new words and becomes engrossed in sentence structures. A skilled speaker learns how to understand his audience and communicate one point in a variety of ways. A skilled mom quizzes other moms on how to raise children and learns how to become a better mother.

Let wise leaders of the faith, whose writings have stood the test of time, inspire your thinking. Books are tremendous skill sharpeners. Read and apply books on a regular basis. Join a book club to ramp up your commitment and accountability. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15).

It may be seminars or a graduate degree, but use a variety of tools to stay sharp. Indeed, sparks fly when steel is sharpened. There will be discomfort and growing pains, but the process and the results are very worthwhile. “As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17). Swinging at issues with a sharp life cuts through troubles.

Above all, sharpen your mind with the Word of God. Nothing infuses a sharp mind like the Bible. His wisdom is like a sharpening stone on a battered blade. He smoothes the jagged edges of a rough life. Like an axe that has become chipped and blunted over time, the Lord refurbishes your abilities to a radiant and shinny silver edge. Stay sharp and your skill may give you an audience with kings, where you will influence influencers.

“Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings; he will not serve before obscure men” (Proverbs 22:29).

Do I steward God’s gift well by always seeking ways to improve and grow?

Related Readings: Exodus 24:7; Isaiah 49:2; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Peter 3:18

Boyd Bailey is the author of Wisdom Hunters daily devotional and two devotional books, Infusion and Seeking Daily the Heart of God

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