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 ax means recognizing where a problem exists, acquiring or honing the skills (or tools) to do the job better, and then going out and doing it.
Find the areas of your life where your “ax” is dull, and sharpen your skills so you can be more effective in God’s work.
*** Thoughts from Life Application Study Bible Devotions, 5 April 2015 ***
It is much better that you discover where you lack skills than to have others tell you that you are to stupid to preform some task. There was this guy that work as a janitor at this very large church, he took care of this large building by himself and he also had to cut grass around the church and an extra lot across the street. During the winter he was required to shovel snow as well. He was well liked by most of the people of this church and there were no complaints regarding his work. This fellow went about his work with a song in his heart and worked as though he was working for the Lord. One day he notice the church secretary struggling with her computer and he stop what he was doing and went in to see if he could help her resolve her issues. He took time to explain that while in the military he had run into the same issues. So he began to show the secretary some useful work arounds to solve her issues. While he was working with her some of the members of the church walk in and saw the Janitor working with the secretary’s computer, while the church secretary kept saying what are you doing here serving as a janitor, you know way more than I do when it comes to computers. But, in the background those members who had walked in and saw the janitor working with the secretary’s computer, begin to question each other loudly, “Hey isn’t that the janitor in there on the secretary’s computer, we ain’t paying him for that, all he is good for is chasing dust bunnies and cleaning the bathroom, get him off that computer before he breaks it. Wait there goes a dust bunny now you need to chase that down and make sure our church is really clean. That was the straw that broke the camels back because some of the members of this church believe that all this fellow was capable of, was chasing down dust bunnies. They didn’t believe he was capable of anything better and they thought he had reach his highest goal in life, that, being their janitor and that is all he was capable of being as far as they were concern. End of the story, right! No, that fellow took his axe and had it sharpen and he became a computer repairman, and move on into a masters degree in information technology. He now teaches at the university level and of all things Computers, all because those nice people at that large church insulted him by saying that all he was capable of was chasing dust bunnies.
The dull ax is no longer dull, everyday I am working on my ax. Oh, I forgot to tell you that this is a true story. The janitor in this story was me. And I am happy to say that this was the best thing to happen to me because I would have never known how dull my ax was without those wonderful words, “All you are good for is chasing dust bunnies.” I don’t chase them no more as a carreer. Now I am teaching and loving it . I owe those wonderful people a great big sloppy kiss for waking me up to real potential and a new life.
Let me echo one more time the above statement. “Find the areas of your life where your “ax” is dull, and sharpen your skills so you can be more effective in God’s work.”