Tools in the Box: spiritual gifts at work

Wooden Tool Box

There are five ways we love to work in the world. Five tools in the box. You will probably identify more with one than the other four. This will tell you HOW you function best; which type of work you are made to do (and love!); what type of activity brings you joy—and keeps you going strong. If you’re feeling tired, spent or overwhelmed lately, consider what type of tool you most resemble; and ask yourself if this is the type of work/service/ministry you’re currently investing yourself in. And if not, why not?

We are each made in a distinctive way; when we align who we are and how we function with where we spend our time and energy, we will know greater joy—greater peace—and will be a greater blessing to the world around us.


Five tools in the box. Which one are you?


Some of us are the MEASURING TAPE: we strive for accuracy and can be counted on to turn in an accurate plan, report or design. The numbers matter; as do other kinds of truth-telling. God bless the scholars; those who can be counted on to measure everything—at least twice.

Some of us relate more to the SCREWDRIVER (Philips, Robertson, Flat… all the names). These are the social connectors: the people who help hold things together by going below the surface; they check in with people, ask others how they’re doing, how’s it going? Etc. The Screwdriver is the tool needed to pull a project together—including the projects we call Friends & Family. God bless the binders: the screwdrivers, rolls of duct tape, carpenter’s glue, plastic ties…

Others are like the sturdy HAMMER. They make lots of noise. People who do the job of the hammer usually have one or two more hammers on hand for those they inspire to join in the work. They are all about communicating the vision, message, mandate and logistics. They are the persuasive team-builders and single-minded, mission-driven powerhouses we know and aim to please. God bless the hammers—the change agents—and the noise they make in our lives.

Then there’s the mighty SAW. These are the adventurers willing to take a risk. Once the measurements are in, it’s time for the saw to go to work: to do what few are willing to do: to take down the trees and lay out the beams to erect the building. It takes courage to invest yourself physically into a new vision; to make a way forward by changing the old and seeking the new. To take the risk, model courage and apply the discipline needed to endure and see hard things completed. God bless those willing to make a dent and bring the strength needed for success.

And God bless the lowly LEVELS on the workbench of life. These are the people willing to speak truth to power; the mystic types who sense when something is “off” or “out of line” or “crooked.” They are willing to stand firm; kneel down in prayer and to rise up to confront corruption or deception. These are the people in our lives we call faithful and true: even if it’s hard to relate to the significance of a quiet, simple tool like a level. They are not needed all the time, but when they are; they’re impossible to replace.


All five tools play an essential role in doing good work; and are helpful metaphors for understanding what we have to offer; who we are and how we function. I believe aligning our work/service/ministry with our God-given design can help each of us fulfill our God-given purpose—which will bring us joy now and for the days ahead.





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