Tools

Managing Gary’s Tools

Leadership / Personal Development //

I’ve been discontent with our kitchen table for some time. In a future post I’ll share more details about how I came to build our kitchen table (not Ikea-like build, raw lumber-like build). As I set out on this task shortly before the start of summer, a good friend stepped in to ask some key questions. Many of my answers were insufficient. He would then correct my answer and ask if I had a tool for that task.

In almost every case, I didn’t.

By the end of the day I had the majority of his tools in my garage.
Table saw, clamps, jigs, sanders and so on.

I’m very thankful for his generosity because the work was a great deal easier with the proper tools. I though that was what I had learned through that experience, but it turns out there was even more.

In our Bible study this week, we were looking at the beginning of James 5, which warns the rich oppressors. Our discussion led to 1 Timothy 6:17-19:

As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

I thought about our tendency to hold tightly on to the things that we have, yet verse 8 of that passage reminds us that we brought nothing into the world and will leave the same way. A reminder that all that we have comes from God. We are stewards of his things.

It clicked. My garage full of tools was just like my house full of stuff. For about a week, I managed Gary’s tools. I could use them as I wished.

But I was a manager, so I made extra sure to lock the doors when I left.

I was a manager so when something went wrong, I talked to him about it.

And most of all, when he came to ask for one of his tools back, I didn’t get mad.

That’s a pretty big juxtaposition from how I used to manage the stuff God has allowed me to manage. I would forget to lock it up, rarely talk to Him about problems or even thank Him for the allowing me to use His stuff and I would get pretty huffy when it’s time to give it up.

How are you doing as a steward?

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About the Author

Jesse and his wife, Teri, will celebrate 20 years of marriage in May of 2012 and are raising two growing sons, Kevin and Alex. After moving from the DC metro area in 2008 they adopted a mastiff named Book and slobber became a way of life. In his spare time, you may find Jesse enjoying photography, biking, or simply watching a movie or reading. Jesse is a graduate of Cohort K from Bethel Seminary’s CFM program and serves as the Children and Family Pastor at the Evangelical Free Church of Wauconda.