A man broke his left arm. One night when he couldn’t sleep, he imagined a dialogue between his right and left hands. The Right Hand said, “Left hand, you are not missed. Everybody’s glad it was you that was broken and not me. You are not important.”
Left Hand asked, “How are you superior?”
Right Hand replied, “Why, my owner cannot write a letter without me.”
Left Hand: “But who holds the paper on which he writes?”
Right Hand: “Who swings the hammer?”
Left Hand: “Who holds the nail?”
Right Hand: “Who guides the plane when the carpenter smoothes a board?”
Left Hand: “Who steadies the board?”
Right Hand: “When our owner walks down the street and lifts his hat to greet someone, which of us does it?”
Left Hand: “Who holds the briefcase while he does it?” Then he continued. “Let me ask you a question. When our owner shaved yesterday, you held the razor, but his face is cut. Why? Because I wasn’t able to help. Also, our owner’s watch has stopped. Why? You may do the winding, but if I’m not there to hold it, the watch doesn’t get wound. You can’t take money out of his wallet to pay for something because I’m not there to hold it. The master can do very few things without me.”
So each of us has a place of service for the Lord. None is greater – just different. Imagine the Master Carpenter’s tools holding a conference.
Brother Hammer presides, but several suggest he leave the meeting because he is too noisy. Brother Hammer replies, “If I have to leave this shop, Brother Screw must go also. You have to turn him around, again and again, to get him to accomplish anything.”
Brother Screw then speaks up. “If you wish, I’ll leave, but Brother Plane must leave too. All his work is on the surface. His efforts have no depth.”
To this Brother Plane responds, “Brother Rule will also have to withdraw, for he is always measuring folks as though he were the only one in the right.”
Brother Rule then complains about Brother Sandpaper. “He ought to leave also because he’s so rough and always rubbing people the wrong way.” And so goes the discord.
In the midst of all this discussion, in walks the Carpenter of Nazareth. He has arrived to start his day’s work. Putting on his apron, he goes to the bench to make a pulpit from which to proclaim the gospel. He uses Brothers Hammer, Screw, Plane, Rule, Sandpaper, and all the other tools. After the day’s work, when the pulpit is finished, Brother Saw arises and remarks, “Brethren, I observe that all of us are workers together with the Lord.”
In I Peter 4:10-11, the apostle Peter says,
“As each one has received a special gift,
employ it in serving one another,
as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
. Whoever speaks, let him speak, as it were,
the utterances of God;
whoever serves, let him do so
as by the strength which God supplies;
so that in all things God may be glorified
through Jesus Christ,
to whom belong glory and dominion
forever and ever. Amen
Every believer in Jesus Christ received a spiritual gift from God at the moment when we repented of our sins, and believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, choosing to follow Him as our Lord and Savior. How do I know that? Because the Bible tells me so. “As each one has received a special gift.” Borrowing from the words of a Negro spiritual: “All God’s chillun got gifts.” How do I find out what my spiritual gift is? First of all, you need to open the gift. Not to open it is a sign of disrespect and lack of appreciation for the Giver. Your spiritual gift has to be opened in a special way. At your birthday party, you opened your gifts before the eyes of everyone present at the party, didn’t you? The givers wanted to see the expression on your face, hear the words of appreciation, and know that you intend to make good use of that gift.
God wants us to open our spiritual gift before the eyes of a local body of believers. He wants us to build relationships with the other members in the church and get involved in the activities and ministries of that church. The best way to show appreciation for a gift is to make use of it. That was the purpose for which the gift was given, and using it brings joy to the giver and the receiver.
God only gives good gifts, and each of those gifts is necessary for the building up and encouragement of the body of Christ, the Church. Along with the spiritual gift God has given us, comes the responsibility to use it for His glory. The apostle Peter calls us “stewards”. As Christians we are “under New Management”, and God has given each of us the privilege and responsibility of being managers of the gift that He has given us. We are told to “employ it in serving one another.” As we become active in serving the body of Christ, other believers may recognize our spiritual gift before we do. Either way, we’ll come to realize the spiritual gift we have received from the Lord if our desire is to serve others, our ability comes from God’s enabling power, and our goal is to give glory to God when He empowers our use of it.
Remember, every spiritual gift is important and necessary or God wouldn’t have given it to you. Every one of us is a member of God’s orchestra under His direction, and each of us has an important part to play so that the Conductor, the orchestra, and the audience (the world around us) would experience the full effect of the harmony that is produced, thus drawing us closer to the One who wrote the music, arranged the score, and conducts each performance.
I hope you’re in the orchestra. It’s practice time again, and every day is a concert! Let’s play our parts well, enjoy the harmony that results from our combined efforts, and save the applause for the Conductor!
The apostle Peter concludes by saying “Amen”. I second that “Amen”, brother Peter! All in favor, say “Amen”!