Wednesday, February 2, 2011

God & Tools

When I was a kid, my mom bought my dad a lathe at an antique shop. For those of you unfamiliar with the term, this was a gigantic monster of a machine that is supposed to help a carpenter shape table legs-- the theory being that my dad could make some table tops (the easy part) and use this $200+ hunk of metal to create the detailed legs (the harder part).

That lathe sat UNUSED in our garage for several years... before my parents finally sold it at a garage sale.... they probably should have dumped it much earlier, but they clung to the thought that SOMEDAY... Dad would use it.

Our church just completed a month-long study on a book by Kerry & Chris Shook called One Month To Live." If you only had 30 days left on earth, what would you do? How would your behavior change? And WHY aren't you doing that already?

One of the chapters talks about people that bug you - and equates those people to different types of tools:
  • The HAMMERS - the ones who are always forcing their way and railroading everyone into their way of thinking.
  • The SKILL SAWS - who know just the thing to say that cuts to the quick and hurts feelings.
  • The VISE GRIPS - the needy ones who ignore social boundaries and suck the energy right out of you with their issues and drama.
  • The GRINDERS - people whose emotions are always on the edge - ready to explode at the slightest infraction.
  • The AXES - who tear down the hopes and dreams of others with their negative attitude and comments
  • The HATCHETS - who hang on to those o-l-d grudges... forever!!
  • The PUTTY People - the ones with no spine, who agree with everything and never stand up for themselves nor anyone else. These people can't say no, and you never know what they are thinking because they can't think for themselves.
It'd be easy to think, CHUCK 'EM! These tools are defective! Irritating! Broken! Why should I keep hanging around these tools in the shed when they are such drainers???! Just like Dad's lathe, I should have dumped them a long time ago...! However, we're not talking an old bucket of toxic chemicals - these are just the regular tools in the shed...

God hasn't placed these "sandpaper" people in your life just to annoy you. One of the reasons He may have gifted you with a Vise or a Hammer-friend is to help you learn to deal with all types of people AND... to maybe point out one of your own tool-type behaviors.

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye."
Matthew 7:3-5 (NIV)

It's not our job to judge these people - or point out how they are such a tool... Rather our job is to serve as a healing agent... To use the gifts we have been blessed with to help others and to accommodate others' needs. We cannot point out all of the faults of others all the while ignoring our own quirks and issues. I can be such a tool sometimes... a little hammer mixed with a tiny bit of hatchet with some grinder moments mixed in. I'm just thankful that the other tools in the shed overlook (or just resign themselves to dealing with) my quirks and continue to be my friend.

What tools are in your life? How can you be the best possible friend to them?

And what friends are you SO THANKFUL for because they put up with you and your own tool-type behaviors...?

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Odie Langley said...

I don't have an answer to it all just now but you have set me to thinking and that is a good thing.

Belle said...

I would say I have a little bit (well, maybe a lot) of most of those tools in me. I see my family in some of those tools. But they aren't that way all the time either. I guess we need to be sanders, sanding away our faults and helping others sand theirs. Also asking God to sand us. Maybe that is why we rub up against each other, to learn and grow.