Sunday, April 15, 2007

Permission Slip

Maybe some people shouldn’t play with tools.

Maybe Home Depot should require a permission slip before they sell certain tools. “This certifies that John Doe knows how to handle dangerous tools and is allowed to by the new Macho Nail Gun.”

In the day of do-it-yourself, people are probably encountering tools they never did before. There is a story in today’s paper about a house that was completely leveled and a man that was killed because of a do-it-yourself remodeling project. My guess is that a gas line was leaking or a combustible solvent or paint was being used.

I am a handyman by trade. For whatever reason, I am one of those people who can fix things. Unlike some of my customers, I can to extremely complicated jobs like changing light bulbs without doing serious damage to people or property.

Some people feel bad because they can’t do the jobs I do for them by themselves. I think it is wise when we know our limitations. For some of my customers, it is better that they pay me to do things than use their precious free time doing those same things. I know as well that there are things I can’t do both in and out of my job. I regularly turn down work when I know that it is beyond my experience level or maybe too dangerous. I sleep better at night because of this.

Proverbs 27:17 says, Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Do you know what a steel is? It is a round, long piece of steel that is used to put the final edge on a knife. If you start with a dull knife, a steel won’t help at all. I think the principal here is that as individuals we have to allow God and his Word to give us an edge. Then we can call on others to help us where we are stuck, need a different perspective, or maybe a kick in the rear.

Look at what Clarke’s commentary says on this verse:

Pro 27:17 - Iron sharpeneth iron - As hard iron, viz., steel, will bring a knife to a better edge when it is properly whetted against it: so one friend may be the means of exciting another to reflect, dive deeply into, and illustrate a subject, without which whetting or excitement, this had never taken place. Had Horace seen this proverb in the Septuagint translation when he wrote to the Pisos?

Ergo fungar vice cotis, acutum
Reddere quae ferrum valet, exors ipsa secandi.
Hor. Ars. Poet., ver. 304.

“But let me sharpen others, as the hone
Gives edge to razors, though itself have none.”
We need each other. Each of us has different gifts and abilities. We are smart when we call on others to help us where we need it. A fool thinks he is a self-sustaining island. God created us to need both Himself and the other people he puts around us.

I offer thanks to friends who have helped me through hard times!


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