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What Sharpens Your Edge?

Posted in Overcoming difficulties, and Self-care

edge (ej) n. 1:the cutting side of a blade  2: keenness or intensity of desire or enjoyment 

Is there an area of your life where neglect has crept in and taken a seat?  It’s a sneaky little thing.  It introduces itself as a harmless break to a healthy habit.  But the harmful reality to a relationship, a goal, or our health, eventually appears on the scene. And it announces we’ve lost our edge.

In my quiet time a few days ago, I stood toe-to-toe with confronting the neglect of my fitness routine.  Thankfully, I didn’t face neglect alone.

I approached it with Hebrews 4:12.

“For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires.“ (NLT)

The Amplified Bible translates the soul and spirit, as “the completeness of a person.”  It translates the joint and marrow as “the deepest part of our nature.”  Hebrews 4:12 offers vivid imagery and a sure promise.  If we spend time in Scripture, our lives will be impacted and exposed by its truth.

But even when the truth hurts, it is a kind cut if it helps us become who God intends. It takes courage to confront a habit or attitude that dulls the edge of who I am in Christ.  And yet, it takes the power of His word to chisel me into the person He wants me to be.

For years, I’ve enjoyed exercise. Pilates and resistance workouts are among my favorites.  I prefer being in a group, but over the years the demands of life required solo sessions.  I’ve grown to enjoy those too, until seven months ago.

It started as a short break. I convinced myself I’d start back when the pace of life slowed down.  I was okay with that.  Then my father died and grief entered into the mix.  Then the summer came and more demands on my time and emotions followed.  A return to my workout was nowhere in sight.

But something else appeared instead.  A few bulges here and there served as a reminder that muscle memory doesn’t last forever.  I’m not okay with that.

From a spiritual standpoint, my edge is lost when I put what God says on the back burner.  What was meant to be hot turns cold and what should have priority turns into self-pity. 

swordpicture2I’ve fallen for the fiction of my flesh many times. It offers a polite way to procrastinate; especially when I’m reaching for something that requires discipline. However, God’s mercy gives us the opportunity to burn brightly by His grace.

With the dew of His mercy still dripping from my heart, I knew I needed to spring into action.  There’s no putting this off until the New Year.  I’m establishing accountability and support with others, just in case neglect tries to talk to me again.

If you’ve fallen for neglect, what sharpens your edge? Does it expose your thoughts or offer you an excuse?

When an area of our life loses its sharpness or shine, here’s some good news:  We don’t have to surrender what makes us better to something that makes us feel less.  In fact, God invites us to release every care to Him because He cares deeply for us. The more I cling to His truth, the sharper my edge becomes. It slices right through confusion and excuses, encouraging me with hope for the heart and joy to the soul.

Scriptural Reflections

Psalms 119:16
Proverbs 27:17
Ephesians 6:10-18
1 Peter 5:6-8