The Plastic Knife

Background: Lately I’ve been eating apples and peanut butter for breakfast, and I usually prepare the meal at home and eat it on the way to work. A few times I have packed it up to eat when I get to work, and it never fails that I forget to pack a knife. So I have no choice but to use the plastic knives they provide at work. Cutting an apple with a plastic knife is like cutting cardboard with safety scissors.

Today’s topic of discussion……..using the right tools and using the right tools appropriately. Hands, mind, mouth. These are the tools used by the P31. She made things with her hands, she created things and worked out deals using her creativity and intellect. She encourages and teaches with her mouth. How are we using our tools. Do our words rip through people like those safety scissors and the cardboard? Do the things we make with our hands irritate others like a fuzzy wool sweater? Are our thoughts of things that are good and kind?

The hands, mouth and mind are powerful tools. They can bring us success, or used inappropriately, they can cause us shame. We have to check ourselves periodically to see if we have been using our tools correctly. A good way to measure this is to look around you. Are your relationships healthy? Are your co-workers avoiding you? Do your pets still run up to you when you get home. These might indicate that you have used your tools incorrectly or not enough.

Another good indicator is your performance at work, your performance in the kitchen, your performance in the bedroom. If these are areas that can suffer from inadequate usage of tools. And if you’re having trouble gaging your performance or tool usage, ask someone who loves you. Sometimes you just have to work with whatcha got. Not everyone is a wiz in the kitchen or skilled in saying encouraging words. But you can compensate in the areas where you may be less skilled, by using the tools that you have more expertise with.

One point about the mind. There is no way we can effectively impact the lives of others with our brilliant intellect or creativity if don’t think that we are brilliant or creative. We have to see our potential and believe that when we use what God has given us, we will be successful and not ashamed.

There are some that have mastered the use of their hands, mouth and mind, with an occasional mishap along the way. If you’re like me, I don’t use all of my tools to their fullest ability. I do good, but my potential is greater if I use them to their full capacity. I encourage you to look around you. Do you see beauty, progress, growth? Or do you see a scene from a horror movie. Ok that was a little dramatic. Maybe things are a little off kilter. If it is, don’t be discouraged. Assess how you are using your tools and keep moving forward.

References: Proverbs 31:12,13,15,16,18,19,20,22,24,26,31

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