Day Five – Stay Sharp

Today’s Scripture: Eccles. 10:10

When life deals us a nasty blow, our tendency is to either attack or retreat. If we react too quickly, we may do or say things we regret. Sometimes we just withdraw and ignore, hoping the situation will resolve itself. Then we appease ourselves by thinking, “I’m a lot sharper now,” and we avoid any further dealings with the unpleasant situation. Unfortunately, the reality is if we don’t respond to negative situations in a proper manner, we can become duller—not sharper.

We own a beautiful set of steak knives, each one nestled in a protective sheath, tucked away in a kitchen drawer. In order for the knives to function well, they must be kept sharp. But, no matter how sharp the blade, it has to be removed from its cover in order for it to be useful. Retreating will render us unproductive no matter how sharp we think we are.

Solomon said, “If the ax is dull and its edge unsharpened, more strength is needed” (Eccles. 10:10). It is more productive to face unpleasant situations than it is to ignore them. Progress stops when we retreat.

  • What negative (awkward) situations have you been ignoring? Has ignoring them made you sharper or duller? What do you need to do next?
  • Think of times when you reacted—or over-reacted—to challenging situations. How much clean-up work (i.e. apology, forgiveness, etc.) do you need to do in order to regain your edge?