February 26, 2017

Sunday Devotional With Mr. E: Sharp

Scissors, box cutters, paper cutters, X-Acto Knives, rotary cutters...art people are all about sharp things!  They are essential for the creation of so many works of art.  However, they often are a "supporting" player.  They get used & abused, and aren't considered until they no longer do (or do well) what they were designed to do.  I've had blades dull, rust, develop build up, bend, and break.  I'll get so frustrated when "they" ruin paper, destroy a mat, or hack a piece of fabric to bits. However, was it really the cutting tool's fault for the issue?  Not at all.  If I clean, sharpen, store properly, and replace when necessary, there won't be an issue.  I have to take responsibility, and look out for my tools.  If I don't take care of them...they will not be able to take care of the jobs I have for them.

Iron sharpens iron,
So one man sharpens another.
Proverbs 27:17

Have you ever heard the phrase, "Lone-Ranger Christian".  They think they can do things on their own.  They may be operating in their giftings, doing an amazing job, and fulfilling a real need. They look like they have it all together.  However, we were not designed to do this life alone.  More than likely, the Lone-Ranger Christian will burn out, become bitter, or fall into a sin pattern that will cause them to be ineffective in ministry & will distance them in their fellowship with the Lord.  We were designed to sharpen one another.  What does that mean?  You have to live life with other believers that will encourage you, challenge you, and hold you accountable for things you do & say.  You need to have people in your life that know you so well, they can see it in your face before you ever say a word.  Sometimes those types of relationships can be uncomfortable.  I think many of us like to hide our ugly.  We would rather people see the person we'd like to portray to the world...and not the real person who is struggling, tired, and doesn't have it all together.  The thing is...if we live life alone..we won't be able to fulfill the job we were designed to do.  A dull pair of scissors still looks like it can get the job done, but when you try to use them....you find out that they can not.  We need to sharpen one another so that we will be able to fulfill the purpose God has for us!

If you aren't sure about this whole "sharpening" one another thing....and feel you are better with just you & Jesus...... CONSIDER THIS!!!!

Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit.  Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.
Philippians 2:1-4

Maybe you need sharpened...maybe you need to sharpen others?? Either way...God has designed us to live life together.