by Bill Peters
Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed. Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NLT)
Principle 1 of the Road to Recovery of CR: Realize I’m not God: I admit that I am powerless to control my tendency to do the wrong thing and my life is unmanageable. “Happy are those who know they are spiritually poor.” Matthew 5:3
As a gift from Rose Marie and her brothers and sisters, I received their father’s axe that he used to cut wood. I can fondly recall Paul Scheidler’s workshop and his cutting stone where he sharpened that axe and I have observed him cutting wood effectively with that axe. Rose Marie’s dad was never one to go and cut and split firewood with a dull axe. He lived his life the same way by seeking to remain sharp and focused to loving God, loving His family, and living a disciplined life filled with goodness, kindness and truth.
Trying to do anything without the necessary skills or tools is like chopping wood with a dull ax. If your tool is dull, you should sharpen it to do a better job. Similarly, if you lack skills, you should sharpen them through training and practice. In each situation, sharpening the axe means recognizing where a problem exists, desiring to take the effort to change, acquiring or honing the skills (or tools) to do the job better, and then going out and doing it. Like an axe my life needs to be sharpened because a dull axe cannot do life in the right way.
Too many times in my life I have used a dull axe to cut my path in living. The axe I have used has been poorly shaped and sharpened by using the world’s ways rather than God’s ways. I found that engaging in sinful addictive habits causes me to be dull. Sin is the most damaging way to dull the axe of anyone’s life. By using that kind of axe I have caused myself and others harm and hurt. I have found myself lost with my hangups. I have been ineffective in making my life useful to God or to anyone else.
The biggest enemy of progress is denying one’s need for change to become like Jesus. To maximize results in my life I must surrender the old worldly and foolish ways to Christ. I have found my need to seek His path. With Christ my axe gets sharper each day. I have learned how to give my life to Jesus each day and allow Him to sharpen the axe. Sharpening has begun by engaging in His Word, prayer, a step study, and having accountability to others by being a part of Celebrate Recovery. I have found that God’s redeeming love through the giving of His Son, Jesus, on the cross to motivate me to a change. His willingness to accept me in love and His desire to save me has brought me new life. His wisdom has been effective in changing a dull boy’s life and sharpening my axe to do life His way for eternity.