“If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success” (Ecclesiastes 10:10).
This passage teaches that there is wisdom in preparation. Things go better when one has prepared himself for the task to be done.
Abraham Lincoln is credited as saying, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” The quote seems to be spurious. However, the moral concerns the value of preparation.
Let us caution that some spend all of their time preparing to do something, but never actually get to the task. Preparation of the ax will never bring down the tree unless someone puts the ax to use.
Some Christians never prepare themselves to teach others. God expects us at some point to be able to teach others (Hebrews 5:12; 1 Peter 2:9).
Other Christians continuously prepare but never teach others. They study. They attend personal evangelism workshops. They take notes. They mark their Bibles. They file away good tracts on various subjects which could be helpful if they ever did teach someone. But, they never do. Some preachers rarely leave their studies to interact with others.
Let us not make these two mistakes. Let us prepare and let us get to the task of teaching others. “I want to be a soul winner for Jesus everyday, He does so much for me; I want to aid the lost sinner to leave his erring way, and be from bondage free\ I want to be a soul winner and bring the lost to Christ, that they His grace may know. I want to live for Christ ever, and do His blessed will, because He loves me so\ I want to be a soul winner till Jesus calls for me, to lay my burdens down; I want to hear Him say, servant, “You’ve gathered many sheaves, receive a starry crown.” \ A soul winner for Jesus, A soul winner for Jesus, O let me be each day. A soul winner for Jesus, A soul winner for Jesus, He’s done so much for me” (Song: A Soul Winner for Jesus by J. W. Ferrill).