"Sharpen Your Axe" by Evang. Esther Ogunbayeje


“If the axe is dull and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength but wisdom brings success.” Ecclesiastes 10:10
 “And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done.” Gen 2:2
Rest as defined by Cambridge Advance Learner’s Dictionary is “to stop being active for a period of time in order to relax and get back strength.” The body needs rest for rejuvenation just like a battery needs to be recharged in order to gain back power. The body needs adequate, appropriate and timely rest for it to keep on functioning effectively for long.

Looking at the society today, it seems as if busyness alone is what brings success but the Bible says that, “Wisdom brings success.” Ecclesiastes 10:10. Wisdom in relation to the usage and conservation of energy as well as how it is regained. There is the need for wisdom on how the body and mind are used without breakdown.

1 The expectations and demands placed on us by the society, our careers, educations, relationships etc.

2 The responsibilities we take upon ourselves out of respect to please others or as a result of pride to become everything to everybody and envy to be like every Jones and Joneses.

3 Worries and fear of not meeting up obligation e.g. payment of bills, mortgages, taking care of the family.

4 Staying late on internet chatting and browsing.


1. Mistakes, confusion, accident, health issues etc.

2. Sluggishness- this can lead to low productivity, inefficiency and ineffectiveness.

3. Weakness or breakdown of the body – this may in turn lead to stroke, blood pressure or heart failure..

4. Untimely aging- grey hair and wrinkles all over the body and sagging of the

5. High cost of care- medication in case of diseases, sickness and body break

6. Breakdown of relationship- having social and relational problem e.g. among couples, children and parents, colleagues etc.

7. Untimely death- e.g having cardiac arrests or accidents.

Rest is good
● Good health is wealth that must be treasured because once it is lost, it may never be regained back fully and it may be costly to gain back.

● Rest invigorates, rejuvenates, and restores, not only the body but the mind.

● Resting time refreshes the brain and makes it possible for fresh or better ideas or new way of doing things.

● Resting period is a time for God’s visitation and revelation.

● Helps to maintain focus, increases productivity, efficiency and effectiveness.

Take note:
▪ No one prevails or succeed by strength alone but by God’s grace.

▪ All works, and play makes Jack a dull boy. Working 24/7 is an unwise use of time, body and mind.

▪ No one can build alone to completion except by the help of God.

▪ Good health is a precious treasure that must be guarded jealously.

How to rest:
Rest must be timely, appropriate and adequate. Conscious effort and determination must be made to have rest in this age of busyness. So to create time for rest,

1. Avoid unnecessary things that waste or take time. Plan your time and learn to say ‘no’ politely.

2. Delegate things to people; learn to get things done through people this will enable you to save more time for yourself.

3. Buy time with money by paying for some services and use the time to relax or do things that enable you plan your time and save more time for rest.

4. Make use of the few minutes during the day e.g. little nap on the bus
especially if your trip is long, little nap during break time in the office rather than engage in chatting that wastes time, and finding little time to take deep breaths and relax the mind.

5. Declutter your mind of junk thoughts that breed fear, worry and anxiety

6. Relax when you get home, do not take the work and its stress home with you.

7. Take your full holiday and refuse the temptation of taking money instead.

8.Retreat- if possible, have your holiday in a completely new environment where you can relax and not called back to work. And do not take your work with you while on holiday

Examples of rest:
1. God. Genesis 2:2. “By the seventh day God had finished the work he had
been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.”

2. Jesus. Mark 1:35. “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”

In conclusion, God does not condemn rest but laziness or idleness. God does not encourage overworking but diligence because He knows the effect on us.

Therefore find time to rest, do not be forced to have rest for then it might be costly or too late. Be wise. Wisdom, not strength, alone brings success. Find time to sharpen your axe, the time you spend sharpening it is not a wasted time because you will gain it back. Rest is important. Shalom.

Evangelist Esther A. Ogunbayeje
Christ Apostolic Church
United Kingdom
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