(Minghui.org) United States President Abraham Lincoln was quoted as saying, “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first hour sharpening the ax.”

I read a similar story in Chinese a long time ago. The story said an old man bought two blunt axes. He gave one to each of his two sons and told them to bring home some firewood. One son went straight into the woods and spent a long time, but only chopped a small pile of firewood. The other son sharpened the ax first. Even though he started to work later, he soon chopped down more firewood than his brother.

I am sharing this story here because of a recent article on the Minghui website. The article said that some practitioners were foregoing Fa-study to spend all their available time talking to people on the streets, because they had learned that the time to save people is very limited. They were then persecuted because the old forces took advantage of the loopholes in their cultivation.

“Studying the Fa” is analogous to “sharpening the ax.” Sharpening the ax and studying the Fa seem time-consuming, but it strengthens our ability to accomplish more in less time.

While studying the Fa, the process assimilates the practitioner to the Fa. Attachments are relinquished and karma is eliminated. The practitioner’s gong increases and their xinxing level rises. When a practitioner is more righteous, he carries more of the Fa's power. Besides, the evil forces cannot reach and persecute a righteous practitioner.

On the other hand, foregoing Fa-studying is like chopping wood with a dull ax.

I’d like to remind fellow practitioners that we should not treat studying the Fa as a formality. When you sharpen an ax, you can see the result. When sharpening one’s xinxing, the result won’t be apparent to our naked eye. It is more complex because cultivation practice is more difficult than sharpening an ax.

The three things are what every practitioner should do and are what each practitioner is doing. Studying the Fa well can make the other two more efficient.