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A man with a hammer

December 1, 2005

This series started with Monday’s post.

A follow up on not approaching a situation the same way just because you have seen it before.

There is a saying that if you give a man a hammer he thinks the world is a nail. Suddenly when we find a “tool” that we can use, we try to use it for everything.

In some ways this can be good. I try to encourage my boys to wear their baseball gloves everywhere. I point out that they are good for so many things. A glove makes a great potholder when getting something out of the oven!

The problem arises when we find a spiritual tool that we can wield. Suddenly we think we can use it on everything. We start to rely on the tool and not God.

Do you remember when David twice approached the Philistines in the same valley. One time God had him attack from behind. The other time from the front. David was saying, Oh, I know what to do, I’ve seen this before. But, David walked with God, he sought his council and there is that amazing acoustic image of hearing the armies of the Lord in the Balsom trees.

Walking with God requires us to seek his council. Even (maybe especially) when we know what to do.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. December 1, 2005 9:59 pm

    Being a change agent this is not one of my “big” problems. But I still sometimes want to repeat any success. But a baseball glove is not going to help me succeed on the tennis courts.

    Nor will a “Gospel Meeting” help me to reach the people of my community today….IMHO

  2. December 1, 2005 10:19 pm

    I think you’re right when you say that if we find a spiritual tool that we can use, then we rely on the tool. In my experience, the spiritual tools that worked before, for whatever reason, don’t work now. I say, “For whatever reason” because I have this vaugue inkling I’m mistaken when I say that the tool worked.

    I think that’s only for spiritual tools though. Affix a hammer to a baseball glove and you can figure out 1000s of uses that always work. You only need to be clever about just what it is you’re trying to accomplish.

  3. Angie Burns permalink
    December 1, 2005 10:43 pm

    Hey Tommy! I’ve been away from the computer lately & missing out on the good stuff you all are discussing… truly great things to contemplate that shape our lives! I haven’t given as much time and attention to reading your recent posts as I’d like (so I’ll be re-reading), but I enjoyed the list on the other blog you referred to as well & it reminded me of a site that “lists” the 9 marks of a healthy church (www.9marks.com). I can’t remember when I came across it… but I read it a lot when I first moved home since I was attending a local Baptist church with my parents. It REALLY resonates with me & you should check it out. I’ve read the book “Elders in Congregational Life” as well & it gave me a lot of info as to how the Baptist church has arrived to what it currently is. One thing I’ve discovered is that we are all questioning – which gives me hope for building bridges. Anyway… I’m saying too much. Oh… one more thing… just in case Amy G. reads this… I’m not a blogger & so I can’t comment on your blog yet, but I’m a faithful reader! It’s so great to re-connect with you in this fun way! OK… gotta go… Love to all of you wonderful folks!

    Ang

  4. December 7, 2005 1:49 pm

    You nailed me.–>

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