Christians are tools in God's hand. One of our primary "this world" purposes is to allow God to use us individually and collectively to accomplish His objectives. A good tool "fits the hand well," functions well, works well, and serves its purpose.

Nothing is quite so helpful as having the right tool for the job. Nothing is quite so frustrating as addressing the necessary with the wrong tool. Did you ever use a fingernail file for a screw driver? a sauce pan for a skillet? a rock for a hammer? a piece of wire for a screw? a pry bar for a key?

A fingernail file may loosen a screw, but a screw driver will not file your nails. A sauce pan may function as a skillet, but it makes the task more difficult. A rock may drive a nail in some situations, but it is more likely to bend the nail and mash your finger. The wire may hold something together temporarily, but only the screw produces a "permanent fix." The pry bar can open the door, but you immediately need a new door.

The first thing I do when I begin a job: look for the right tool. One positive and one negative truth always prevail when I build something or repair something. The positive truth: the right tool for the job produces enormous satisfaction. The negative truth: the wrong tool (or no tool!) results in indescribable frustration.

Each Christian is a tool in God's tool box. In three ways we determine our usefulness as a tool. (1) Does my heart belong to God? (2) Is my attitude in step with God's heart? (3) Will I joyfully surrender my abilities to God's purposes?

I avoid using some of my tools unless it is absolutely necessary. Those tools never work well. They make the job difficult and cause enormous frustration. I have other tools I use every time possible. They work easily and well. As a result, they give me enormous satisfaction.

You and I are tools in God's tool box. When God needs a necessary job done, are we an asset or an obstacle? Does God dread using us because (1) we serve Him poorly and (2) we cause more frustration than satisfaction? Or, is God delighted that we are available? We are versatile. We are cooperative. We are confident God knows what He is doing and knows how to use us well. And we love to serve His purposes--even when it is hard on us.

Does God look at you and say, "How can this be done?" Or, does God look at you and approach His purposes with joy. He knows you are the right tool for the job. He knows you will help accomplish His purposes.

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 6 August 2000

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