Are You Living Life With a Dull Axe?
Posted by Joel Osteen on 10/18/2013
There’s a story about two lumberjacks. They were out chopping down trees. One said, “I’m going to take a break and go sharpen my axe.” The other said, “I don’t have time to do that. I’ve got too much work to do.” He kept chopping and chopping. The first man went and sharpened his axe. He came back three hours later and chopped down twice as many trees as the man with the dull axe, and he did it in half the time.
Friend, sometimes you need to take a break and “sharpen your axe,” so to speak. In other words, take time to sharpen your skills, increase your ability, and invest in developing your gifts and talents.
If you’ll sharpen your skills, you’ll get more done in less time. If you’ll sharpen your skills, you may not have to work so hard. Whether you’re a teacher, a mechanic, a banker or a doctor, don’t settle where you are and just coast off of what you’ve already learned. Stir up what God has placed within you and get better at it.
This is a call to action! There are amazing things in your future. God has shifted things in your favor. Now, He is looking for people who are prepared, people who are taking steps to grow, people who are serious about fulfilling their destiny.
This is what scripture shows that David did. He was out in the shepherd’s fields taking care of his father’s sheep. In today’s terms, he had a minimum-wage job. It was boring, no friends, no opportunity for growth or advancement. His brothers got the good jobs. They were in the army. They were prestigious. David could have slacked off, been sloppy, unmotivated and thought, “No reason to develop my skills. I’m stuck out here with these sheep.” No, while he was out there all alone, instead of being lazy and killing time, he got his slingshot out and started practicing day after day, month after month. I can see him setting up that target, slinging that stone again and again, practicing, learning, making adjustments, getting better, sharpening his skills. When a coyote or wild animal tried to attack one of his sheep, it was no problem. David took that sling and that stone and nailed it. David was a sharpshooter, a marksman, so skilled, so precise. He could hit a bull’s eye a hundred meters away.
When God needed someone to slay a giant, someone to lead His chosen people, He didn’t just choose anybody. He chose a man of excellence—a man after His own heart.
In the same way, when God is looking for people to promote today, He doesn’t just close His eyes and randomly say, “Well, I’ll pick you. You won the lottery. It’s your lucky day.” No, God looks for people who will be faithful with what He has given them. Make sure that’s you. Take time to develop what’s in your heart. Let God lead you every step of the way. Sharpen your skills, be faithful, and watch what God will do in your life.
“Do you see someone skilled in their work? They will serve before kings; they will not serve before officials of low rank.” (Proverbs 22:29, NIV)