Ecclesiastes 10:1–12:14 
2 Corinthians 8:1-15 
Psalm 49:1-20 
Proverbs 22:20-21


Ecclesiastes 10:10 (NLT) “Using a dull ax requires great strength, so sharpen the blade. That’s the value of wisdom; it helps you succeed.”


Imagine someone who is using an ax to cut down a tree. That ax, at one time, was razor sharp. When it was aimed at the side of the tree, it always dug deep into the wood.

But, after much use, it had become dull. The edge was no longer sharp. So might even exaggerate a bit and say that it couldn’t cut butter.

Here’s the question: Whick takes more effort to cut the tree down, the guy with the razor sharp ax or the guy with the dull ax? The answer is clear, isn’t it? The duller the ax becomes, the more effort is required.

This is a very simple principle to understand and it applies to so many areas of our life.

It essentially means that there are times that you need to stop working in order to get things back into good working order. While there may be much work to be done, you are doing yourself a favor in that ‘downtime’ because you were rejuvenating the resources.

This principle applies to so many areas of life:

Take one day off a week (Sabbath) to get rested and rejuvenated for the next week (Exodus 20:8–11). You will be much more effective in those six days if you rest (sharpen the saw) on the seventh.

Read or take a course to improve a needed skill. Even though you are not working during the self-improvement (sharpening the saw), it will enable you to be much more effective.

Essentially, that last point was what Solomon was encouraging in our Verse for Today. While taking time out of your busy schedule to read and gain wisdom may be looked down on by others (maybe some even looked on as laziness), it is a brilliant use of time if your intention is to gain information in order to be more effective when you are working.

Look for those areas of your life in which you are much less effective than you used to be. Consider why you were having to exert more energy just to accomplish what once took much less effort. When you discover what has grown dull from use, “sharpen the ax.”