Sharpen Your Axe


One man challenged another to an all-day wood chopping contest. The challenger worked very hard, stopping only for a brief lunch break. The other man had a leisurely lunch and took several breaks during the day. At the end of the day, the challenger was surprised and annoyed to find that the other fellow had chopped substantially more wood than he had. “I don’t get it,” he said. “Every time I cheched, you were taking a rest, yet you chopped more wood than I did.” “But you didn’t notice,” said the winning woodsman. “that I was sharpening my ax when I sat down to rest.”*


Read Ecclesiastes 10:10 from your Bible.


Are you being efficient and effective in your ministry? I would hope the answer is yes to both, but first we need to understand what each word means. Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness comes by doing right things. When it comes to reaching and teaching the children of our community, how efficient and effective do you feel? Are you taking time to stop during the week to spend time with God and let Him sharpen your axe? Do you feel like your axe is sharp or dull? What can you do this week to sharpen your axe for the ministry to which God has called you? What are your thoughts about the verse for this week?

Prayerfully consider what you have read today. Then take a few moments to pray for yourself, your students, and others with whom you serve in ministry.


Don’t work harder; work smarter.

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*Brett Blair, Sermon Illustration, 1999, quoted in A Children’s Leader Devotion (Lake Forest, CA: Saddleback Church), Week 35.

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