January 28
Time to sharpen yourself
Linda Buxa

In Stephen Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he tells the story of a woodcutter. On the first day of work, the man brought down 18 trees. The next day he tried harder, but could only do 15 trees. The third day’s results were worse: 10 trees.

The woodcutter apologized to his boss, explaining he couldn’t understand what was going wrong.

“‘When was the last time you sharpened your axe?’ the boss asked.

‘Sharpen? I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been very busy trying to cut trees . . .’”

Is something off in your life and you just can’t understand what’s going wrong? Maybe it’s time to think about how you’re spending your time—and with whom you’re spending that time. Wise King Solomon knew this when he wrote, “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Proverbs 27:17).

When you invest in Christian friendships, you surround yourself with people who will encourage you and support you. If you choose well, they will also challenge you and hold you accountable. Then you have the energy and the strength to go out to a world full of both hurting hearts hungry for Jesus and hostile hearts wanting to see you fail. You will be far more effective—with less effort—if you make sure you are sharp. If you keep working and working without regrouping with your Christian friends, you will quickly get dull.

Which people keep you strong? Text them this Proverbs passage and thank them for keeping you sharp! Better yet, pick up the phone and tell them.


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