If the axe is dull and he does not sharpen its edge, then he must exert more strength. Wisdom has the advantage of giving success. Ecclesiastes 10:10
This verse reminds me of the seventh habit in Sean Covey’s book: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens. This habit is called “Sharpen the Saw” and the point behind it is that you will be more effective, efficient, and exert less strength if you will just take the time to stop and sharpen your saw before cutting down that tree. Meaning, that we must all slow down from our busy lives and take breaks regularly to keep our personal self sharp by renewing and strengthening our body, brain, heart, and soul.
This is exactly what I got to do this weekend with a beautiful group of young, teenage girls and a few seasoned Christian women at “Love University” for our annual girls’ retreat weekend.
Our theme verse was from Matthew 22:37 which states, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.”
Because our premise was about loving God in spite of the challenges of college life, three of our college age girls each took one aspect of loving God and shared their experiences, struggles, and godly wisdom.
First, Katrina talked about loving God with all your heart even when your heart is being tested in college. With newfound freedoms that can tempt you to cross certain boundaries, professors whose agenda is to debunk your faith, and friends who don’t always have the best morals, she reminded us that it’s okay to admit you’re struggling or doubting but trusting in God above all else is key.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6
Next, Sydney talked about loving God with all your soul. Since people can’t literally see your soul, she talked about how our dress, speech, and those we associate with are a manifestation of that. She reminded us that, though there’s a whole world of people that are looking to gain advantage by physical things, we must be different in focusing on the spiritual even at the expense of sometimes being the outcast among others.
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
Last, Kayla talked about loving God with all your mind. She taught us that loving God is not just a feeling, but it’s an intelectual practice that creates the feelings. This means that even though college life is very demanding and hectic, we have to plan to make time to gather the facts from God’s word daily, pray to Him about it, and then allow that to guide our path everyday.
The mind of man plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9
With the great jobs these young ladies did by sharing a wealth of valuable insight and information, all those who participated in the discussions, the songs of praise we poured our hearts into, the prayers that we expressed, the meals we created for nourishment, the hospitality of our host, the women who worked hard to make it all happen, and each girl reading and explaining their favorite scripture, our saws were definitely sharpened. It was a time to put away our busy schedules and just be with our sisters to renew ourselves with the wisdom that has the advantage to give us all the success we need in life which is loving God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our mind.
So ladies, your axe has been sharpened. Now, let’s all go out and put this love to work with renewed strength!
What a blessing it always is to take time to be with You, our all-present Father. Though we know we can come to You at any time during the day, it is especially meaningful when we can commune with our fellow sisters to build each other up by sharing our experiences, struggles, and wisdom. Thank you for every person who used their time and resources to make this possible. Thank you for the young ladies that are seeking to love You with their whole heart, soul, and mind. Thank you for the time we had together to sharpen our saws. May we use this renewed strength to be a light to the world with all the love we can give through Christ Jesus. Amen.
Truth in love,