We all have scars. The scar on my knee reminds me of the painful experience I had as a child when I was pretending to be in a knight in a medieval joust. As I raced full speed down a hill, the tree limb I was using as a makeshift spear got stuck in the spokes of my front bike tire. Thus, I was sent hurling over the top of my bicycle and crashing into the rocky asphalt. Needless to say, I never tried that again.
Similarly, we are all likely to make foolish decisions that may result in causing more than just physical damage. The good news however is we can learn from these experiences and benefit by not repeating them:
Mind: Many times we can get so focused on striving, we neglect our time for simply abiding. We stress and worry about our careers, aspirations, goals and tasks, that our time with the Lord is put on the back-burner. The result is mental atrophy and exhaustion. For we cannot expect to remain mentally charged and acute when we neglect the necessary time and components necessary to recharge. What are these? Rest, prayer, reading God’s word and worshipping with fellow believers. Why? Because they help us maintain our primary priorities and responsibilities in God’s kingdom over our own (Psalm 46:10).
Body: How easy it is to neglect and/or idolize our bodies when we fail to recognize them as not our own. However, once we realize how profound and gracious good health is, we are less likely to take it for granted. As a result, our motivation to do all we can to maintain and sustain it for God’s glory grows (1 Corinthians 6:19).
Soul: A scarred soul may not be outwardly visible like a physical one, but that doesn’t diminish its reality. Sometimes our inner scars are self-inflicted and other times not, but like the mind and body, they too can be turned for good when given to God. There is no pain, or stain too great for God to handle, or too ugly for God to love. The question is have we turned our deepest regrets, shames, wounds and injuries over to Him? For He is the Master Healer and has the power to transform all our pains into gains (Psalm 23:3).
Application: “Working Sharper” – Proverbs 16:3
There is a story that tells of two lumber jacks in a race to cut down the most trees in a day. Both had the same type ax, the same amount of time and the same opportunity. However, they approached the work very differently. The first man never took a break. He chopped relentlessly all day. His opponent however took periodic breaks throughout the day. When the race was over, many were surprised by the winner. When asked how someone could possibly cut down more trees when they took so many breaks, the man simply responded that during his times of rest, he was sharpening his ax. The loser who never took time to sharpen his ax had to work harder and cut less because his ax dulled. Thus, it’s not always working harder that’s smarter. Likewise, are we wise enough to learn from our mistakes and begin working “sharper” by prioritizing God in all we do – mind, body and soul?