When is the last time you cut something? Paper, grass, wood, rope, fabric, or food? How did you go about that? What tool did you use? What’s the difference between using a dull knife and a sharp one? What is the difference between using a dull tool and one that is sharp and honed?
A dull tool does not do its job well, it is not fully usable. A dull machine does not function appropriatly and makes a poor outcome for its user. A dull tool can cause damage to the thing that is being cut and even to the one that is operating the tool. The only thing to do in response to a dull tool is to sharpen it. A tool can only perform its job if it is taken care of.
Most people today in our developing countries have not learned the skills of sharpening. Many do not know the different types of steel, the hardness of the sharpening stones that need to be used, or the angles that a blade needs to be sharpened at. The reason for this is the lack of effort and focus. The lack of necessity, the lack of practice. The art of sharpening a tool is being lost. Humanity has designed expensive equipment and machines to sharpen tools but that doesn’t take care of the real problem; humanities dullness.
Along with the loss of skill sets such as sharpening of tools, the art of personal development and sanctification is also being lost.
What are the ways we sharpen our personal self, occupational self, and spiritual self. How do we sharpen ourselves effectively? What are the tools we use? Who is doing the teaching? What is the practice that we can use when sharpening ourselves? How do we develop our relationship skills, our leading and serving skills, our physical skills, our mental and emotional skills, and our spiritual discipline skills? There are a lot of question with some really needed answers.
When being used, any tool will become dull or get worn down. So to is this similar to our experiences in life. When we work, or engage in an activity we need to be sharpened and honed. We need to be kept in check. When we work, engage with our families, and engage with God, we need to look at how our interactions cut. To get vulnerable with others, and to have productive conversations there needs to be a sharpness to the person. Dull people do not have deep and productive conversations. Dull people can wound and negatively impact others because they are not aware of their dull nature. In world that is changing technologically, intellectually, and spiritually, sharpening has to happen.
“When people are becoming spiritually dull the basics need to be thought about. Scripture, not conjecture will sharpen. Connecting is not a one and done event, it is an ongoing life style.” Chip Bernhard