Tag Archives: Home Improvement

Wisdom is Knowing When to Call a Pro

Handymanda Tool Kit
(Photo credit: Earthworm)

Enthusiasm without knowledge is no good;
    haste makes mistakes. Proverbs 19:2 (NLT)

I come from a family of craftsmen. I’m very proud of this tradition. From my great-grandfather who started as a boy making wood dowels in South Holland and ended up running a hardware store in northwest Iowa, to my grandfather who taught shop class, my father who is a more than capable woodworker, and my brothers who make a living as craftsmen in artistic trades. I, however, didn’t fit into the mold. When it comes to home improvement and do-it-yourself projects, I confess my shortcomings. It’s not that I can’t do it. It’s just that I’m admittedly not very good at it. I only have to look at the nugget of King Solomon’s wisdom quoted above to understand why.

When it comes to do-it-yourself projects I don’t have a natural knack for it and I get impatient. I start out with enthusiasm and a gung-ho spirit, but I quickly find myself frustrated and wishing I was doing something else. If I run into an obstacle I push forward in an effort to “git ‘er done” instead of stopping and investigating the best way to proceed. A major mistake and several trips to the hardware store later, I’m even more frustrated and it’s cost me more time and money than anticipated. My return on investment for doing it myself starts to wear perilously thin.

I’ve learned over the years to accept certain truths about myself with humility. There are areas of life in which I am talented and gifted. There are areas of life that I am more than capable. There are areas of life that I am not as capable, and some things in life I should avoid like the plague.

Wisdom is knowing when to do-it-yourself and when to pay a professional.

 

[An index of all Tom’s chapter-a-day posts covering every book and chapter]

Spiritual Home Improvement

shack at the landfill
(Photo credit: margaretkilljoy)

Chapter-a-Day 1 Corinthians 3

Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. I Corinthians 3:12-13 (NLT)

Down in Missouri, on the lot next to our Playhouse there sits a house on a poured foundation. Years ago the owners poured a nice concrete foundation and began to build on top of it. They enclosed the house, furnished the inside and added a patio door that opened toward the lake. Then, they abandoned it.

No one has been to the house on the lot next to ours for decades. The roof collapsed. The furniture and walls are covered in black mold. Local wildlife have lived on the inside and caused more destruction to the contents. The house is a health hazard and an eye sore. But, the foundation is still solid. We have more than one friend who has eyed the property and come to the conclusion that you could bulldoze the house, clean off the foundation, and start building a new home on it.

That house (or what’s left of it) is the perfect word picture of exactly what today’s chapter is trying to communicate. When we come to the point of decision and choose to follow Jesus, the Spirit of God indwells us and pours a rock-solid spiritual foundation in our hearts. From that point on our motivations, our thoughts, our words, and our actions are the construction materials with which we build our spiritual “house” on that foundation. As we live day-to-day, the quality of our choices and lives determine the quality of the spiritual house we’re building. Some of us throw up a shack and are content to live in spiritual squalor. Others take the time, develop the discipline, and make the sacrificial investment to build a spiritual mansion. Like our neighbors at the lake, some of us abandon our spiritual building and its foundation altogether.

Today, I’m meditating on this simple word picture and considering the quality of the spiritual house I’m building on the foundation of salvation Jesus poured in my heart 30 years ago. As all homeowners know, the work is never finished. I have sections of the house I’m proud of. I have other sections that need to be gutted and renovated from the ground up. As one company reminds us: “never stop improving.” As long as there is life and breath, the building and renovation of my spiritual house will continue.