If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen it then he must use more strength . . . (Ecclesiastes 10:10).
The Gospel of Luke tells us that Jesus himself grew in wisdom, stature, and favor with God and man (Luke 2:52). In that verse we discover four areas that we ought to be sharpening in our lives. We are to be sharp mentally, physically, spiritually, and relationally. Solomon’s proverb reminds us that if we don’t attempt to sharpen these areas in our lives that it will take greater effort to live and we will be less than successful.
When was the last time you gave serious thought to the sharpening of your mental skills? What are you reading? What are you learning? Have you simply attempted to entertain your mind? Are you taking proper care of it? Solomon says that the mind is a gift from God we ought to sharpen.
And what about your physical condition? Diet, rest and exercise? When was the last time you saw your doctor for a well check up? Are you as sharp as you should be?
Notice also that Jesus grew spiritually. Have you shown marked improvement in the spiritual realm lately? Has your prayer time intensified? Do you find greater joy when you read the Scriptures? Has your love for the Lord increased in the last month?
Finally, are you sharpening your life relationally? Would others see your personal relationships as making you more like Christ? Or do they seem to draw you away from Him?
These are four areas we would do well to evaluate on a regular basis. Which area is most in need of sharpening in your life? Do you need to sharpen the ax mentally, physically, spiritually, or relationally? If the fast pace of your life seems as if you have no time to stop and sharpen the ax might I encourage you to make the time to do so today?