I heard a story recently about a young man who asked the foreman of
a logging crew for a job. The foreman said, “First, let me see you
take this big tree down." In only a short while the young man
skillfully felled the great tree. The foreman was impressed and said
he could start on the next Monday.
Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday went by. On Thursday the foreman
approached the young men and said, "You can pick up your pay on the
way out today."
“But wait a minute” the young man said, “I thought you paid on
"Normally we do," said the foreman, "but we're letting you go today
because you've fallen behind. Our daily charts show that you've
dropped from first place on Monday to last place on Wednesday."
"But I'm a good worker," the young men objected. "I arrive first,
leave last, and I've even worked through my coffee breaks."
The Foreman thought for a minute and asked, “Have you sharpened your
The young man replied, “No sir, I’ve been working too hard to take
Have you fallen behind in life because you failed to maintain a
sharpness that allowed you to succeed? Has your relationship with
God faltered because you failed to keep your relationship sharp
with prayer, Bible study and church attendance? Have relationships
become shallow or ended completely because you failed to keep your
personal relationship skills sharp? When was the last time you took
time to learn something new in your career or in your
relationship life or spiritually? The sit and soak
principle may work for relaxing in the tub after a long day but if
you stay too long, all you get is wrinkled! Ecclesiastics 10:10
says, “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is
needed but skill will bring success.” If you allow yourself to
become dull in life, especially in your spiritual
relationship, more strength (effort) and skill (experience) will be
required just to fulfill normal requirements. I encourage you to
keep your ax sharp.
Common Sense Application
1. Keep your relationship ax sharp by making
good relationship decisions. Work on the toughest relationship skill
of all, communication. Read books that encourage and illustrate how
to maintain quality in your relationships. If you are married, work
harder to SERVE your mate rather than expecting them to always serve
you. Don’t wait if your marriage is deteriorating; get advice from
your minister or a Christian counselor.
2. To keep your spiritual ax sharp be
consistent in Bible Study, prayer, worship and Christian
fellowship. Read 2 Timothy 2:15 and 2 Timothy 4:2. Caution: Avoid
groups of Christians who talk a good line but spend most of their
time and effort on worldly things.