Ever consider the vast variety of tools available at your local hardware store? From the simplest scrapper to the powerfully complex hammer drill and everything in between. There are levels to check slope. Hammers to pound and pull. Screwdrivers and wrenches from the very small to the “do they really make a bolt that big?”. I like the multi-tools, those lightweight contraptions with anywhere from 9 to 25 different tools in one easy to carry unit. I almost always have one with me. But have you ever considered the complex multi-tool of the human form?
Think about it for a moment, if the human body was marketed as a multi-tool how many tools could we list? 30? 60? Over a hundred? Just think of all the different things our hands can do from writing to hoisting a sail to gently bathing a baby. Our legs can walk, push, lift, and run. Some of our members are highly specialized such as our eyes and ears while others are super versatile.
The purpose of all this pondering about the human form is to grasp something Paul wrote to the Romans more fully. He said, “Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.” (Romans 6:12–13, NLT) That term “instrument” can also be understood as a tool or implement.
In my view, it all comes down to power. You see sin, on its own, begins as just a pesky, perhaps fleeting, thought. It is powerless and helpless. Kind of like a virus that is incapable of growing unless it takes over the ability of another cell. When we entertain the thought, we begin to empower it. Sin then moves into our feelings and entices by what could be. That grows to the point of passion and desirability, sometimes to the point where we can’t think of anything else. The final step of that empowerment is action. Sometimes this string of events happens so rapidly that we don’t even notice it. At other times it is a slow process. During any part of the sequence we can say no but the more we empower sin the harder it is to push away.
We compared sin to a virus, but the same cannot be said of doing right or righteousness. We empower sin; righteousness empowers us. In the verses above Paul is not calling for us just to avoid sin but to adopt a whole new way of living where we become a tool in God’s hand.
Think of all the ways God can use you. Sure, you may have limitations, but it doesn’t mean that you are useless. Here are the most common tools of doing right: praying, caring, teaching, supporting, loving, warning, healing, telling, and showing. So, give yourself completely to God and be a useful multi-purpose tool in the hand of Jesus.