Thirty years ago, I bought a chef’s knife in Toledo, Spain. The town has been famous for centuries for the fine work of its cutlery craftsmen and the quality of the steel used in its blades. In the movie Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Morgan Freeman portrays Azeem, the traveling companion of Robin Hood played by Kevin Costner. In a conversation between Azeem and Robin Hood about Azeem’s sword. Azeem commented that his sword was forged from Toledo steel.
I was in Spain shortly after the movie came out in 1991 and made my purchase. The knife wasn’t cheap, but it was worth every dollar I spent. The knife has aided me in my cooking adventures for the last 30 years. It is the single most important tool in my kitchen.
My Spanish chef’s knife reminds me of “the sword of the Spirit” (Ephesians 6:17). The Spirit carries truth and incises deception revealing its hidden intent. All believers carry a certain measure of truth. How that application of truth is applied can resemble either a delicate surgery performed under the skillful hands of a trained surgeon or a gruesome bloody scene from a slasher movie.
Just owning such a beautiful knife was not enough. I had to learn how to properly use the knife or one of my fingers could be added to a dinner’s ingredient list. As believers, we must be wise in how we apply truth. Just possessing truthful insight is not enough. The application of truth is what is critical. A misapplication will make cuts under the influence of our limited understanding instead of the timing, wisdom, and precision of the Spirit.
A great deal of undisciplined slashing is taking place in the Church. Be wise how you choose to incise what you consider to be an error in the affairs of individual lives and in the broader culture. Each cut we make must be a purposeful incision conducted under the direction of the Spirit, not our frustration.