Point-Wrong Sharpener

Diane Virginia

Put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

Ephesians 4:24b NKJV

The objective of sharpening my pencils was to create usable points, but I just wasn’t getting desirable results.

Every time, the points were crooked, and the wood would scratch the surface as frequently as the lead. I wanted to be able to journal thoughts, pencil in calendar events, and draw. Crooked points weren’t helping me achieve these goals. More than once, I looked at my own notes and was unable to decipher them.  

I threw away a whole box of pencils after none sharpened straight.

Every. Pencil. Sharpened. Crooked.

I bought new pencils, a name brand, and I was excited to sharpen these pencils to razor point perfection. Certainly, these would be better than the economy-buy. You’ve probably guessed the results. Yep…

Every. Pencil. Sharpened. Crooked.

This brought me the realization that there was nothing wrong with either pack of pencils—my sharpener was the culprit! Even though a new sharpener was going to be expensive, I needed to make the investment if I was going to get the results I wanted.

For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Ephesians 2:10 NKJV

So, what’s the point? (Pun intended.)

God calls and uniquely qualifies each of us to make a difference. However, we need sharpened points to reach our goals. The Lord has left us an instruction manual—His love letter, the Bible—and when we apply its principles, God equips us to serve Him well.

The Bible has all sorts of stories and parables we can learn from, poems we can pray, and proverbs we can meditate on.

When we prioritize learning from the Master, we become like Him and are renewed day by day. We become sharpened pencils able to write legible messages, pray prayers in accordance with His Word, and spread the love of Jesus Christ to hurting souls who long to find refuge.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2 NKJV

A wise eighty-year-old lady named Dorothy mentored me when I was a new Christian. She had a rule she followed and advised me to do the same: “No Bible, no breakfast.” She then added, “It doesn’t take many days of skipping breakfast to make Jesus Christ your first priority.” I asked if she did this consistently, to which she assured me that even on her busiest days she did so. One glance at her tattered Bible convinced me this was true.

I saw the results in Dorothy’s life. She was doing the Lord’s work until the day He called her home, never retiring from her calling as a Christian, witnessing God’s love whether she was at home, church, the grocery store, or the hospital. Each location she was placed in, she felt was God’s doing, and she considered it her responsibility to share Jesus. People were saved, prayers were answered—even miraculously–and everyone felt loved. Dorothy was one sharp pencil, serving Christ in a crooked world.

Friend, be the sharpened pencil God has ordained you to be. The Lord has given us the sharpener—His Word—and when we put our pencils in, they emerge with point perfection. Every crooked part is made new by the One who knows how to sharpen us best. We become honed each time, and over time we become more effective in serving Him.

And that’s the point.

Is your spiritual “pencil point” sharpened?

Heavenly Father, help me to prioritize meditating on the Bible, being made new in You, so I can serve You well. In Jesus Christ’s name, amen.

Diane Virginia

Diane Virginia (Cunio) is the founder/director of VineWords: Devotions and More, the co-editor/co-compiler of Love-Knots: Stories of Faith, Family, and Friendships (VineWords Publishing), and the author of The Kiss of Peace: A Contemporary Exploration into Song of Solomon (Mount Zion Ridge Press).

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