Like a Knife


Boldness is like a knife.  A sharp sword is safer in a crowd, unsheathed, and in the hands of a samurai, than sheathed, in the hand of a drunkard who is all alone. Too often we try to make the world safer by dulling each other and raising our kids not to have an edge. Safety comes from skill, whether it’s in the form of prevention of friendly fire or protection from intrusion. In the hands of a skilled surgeon, a knife can save a life. But a dull knife on an operating table often does more harm than good. Boldness is like a knife.

 When a knife is sharp it penetrates with less force. The smaller edge impacts less surface area. Sharpness is an issue of direction and focus. With a sharp edge, less is more.

 If “winners focus while loosers spray” then we need to get comfortable with silence. Small, pointed statements cannot come from the mouth of a person who is uncomfortable silence in conversation. Boldness is not a matter of force or elbow grease, but a matter of comfort with stillness, so that, when the time comes, one can exact what needs to be said and not add to it.

 Boldness is not emotional; it is neither angry nor glad. Boldness may be motivated by love and can lead to love, but boldness itself, is nothing more than boldness. Boldness clearly distinguishes and separates one thing from another. The piercing power of boldness is delivered through a simple and penetrating distinction. Just as a surgeon draws a line before cutting it, so does boldness bring to reality the separation previously envisioned by the designer. Boldness is not itself an instrument of healing, but it can gain access to intruders in the body, and, if used correctly, the work of boldness can quickly heal. Boldness is like a knife.

 God’s silence is easily filled with human “self-talk.” When God gives a word or direction that is not as wordy as we might like it to be, we tend to “hear” things He did not speak. Doing this with each other causes communication breakdown. Doing this with God’s Word leads to confused doctrine and theology squabbling. Doing this in evangelism makes the masses irritated instead of repentant. Doing this as leaders in a position of authority makes our subordinates feel micromanaged. When parents don’t allow their children the silence to pick themselves back up after a mild spill it encroaches upon natural learning.

 Since God is the ultimate leader, the ultimate parent, the ultimate evangelist, and the ultimate counselor, knowing Him requires comfort with silence. Boldness is not about guts. Boldness is about skill. Boldness is not about brute force. Boldness is about being sharp. Boldness is about being “to the point.” Boldness is about doing only what needs to be done and no more. Boldness can save a life and make a friend. Boldness is necessary to survive. Boldness can craft the most amazing beauty. Boldness is like a knife.

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