Dull Tools and Bruises


We’ve all heard the statements:

A dull knife is a worthless knife.

A tool that is broken is useless.

We’ve also heard these statements:

It’s better to be cut by a sharp knife than a dull knife.

The right tool for the right job (I actually believe this is trademarked).

Now, I’m not advocating for dull tools. I’m not even proposing that we intentionally use the wrong tools. I am doing what I sometimes do; seeing a spiritual truth in a life experience of mine. So, if you have a knife that needs sharpening, or you are continuing to use a screwdriver as a chisel, fix that.

In an attempt to endear myself to my wife I decided to build a fire this morning at 6:30. Was my wife up, you may ask? No, but she would be within the next few hours and waking to a fire is enjoyable to her.

At 6:30 it was still dark and I could not find my supply of pre-cut kindling – I’m pretty sure there is a piece or two lying somewhere on the ground under the woodpile. And, I don’t prefer to put a piece of fat lighter in the fire which is as thick as my wrist.

So, in the dark I grabbed my hatchet, and commenced to chopping some kindling. Trying to make use of the light coming from the yard light I held the piece of kindling with one hand and swung the hatchet with the other. I know, I know, not too bright.

The inevitable happened. The hatchet, angry for being awakened so early, careened off the wood and headed towards my other hand. There was a collision.

Now, before you begin to correct me about wrong understandings, I know. I know that if I had used proper lighting and proper circumstances that this probably would not have happened. I also know that if the hatchet was sharp that it may have not glanced off the fat lighter (Before you say it wouldn’t – I would encourage you to go chop fat lighter, some of it is extremely tough). I know as well that I could have had a ready supply of kindling neatly organized and that preparation prevents preposterous positions. (An amazing alliteration, analyzing attributes of awareness)

You see, I know all those things and yet I acted as a fool, as I am sometimes likely to do. And, it just may be that a fool can benefit from a dull tool. This is not to say that we shouldn’t seek to be sharp tools (there is a spiritual application coming), but that we shouldn’t deride dull tools as being useless. Simply put, I have a minor abrasion, which has the potential for some bruising and a slight case of stiffness later.

Far too often I am prone to look at people spiritually and attempt to determine which ones can be useful to others. While it is Biblical to measure someone’s spiritual works, the reverse is that we see some that we might perceive as being dull, as being useless. This isn’t Biblical but we struggle with it just the same.

Well, it may be that sometimes a bruise (for the fool) is better than a cut.

We serve a God who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we could ever ask or think, and it is His power that must be at work.

By the way, the fire is burning nicely, and Christy is still sleeping.

Published by Daniel M Harding

Husband, father, associate pastor.

4 thoughts on “Dull Tools and Bruises

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