Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Don't Be A Tool


A word on the name of this post. Yes, I am aware of the pop culture definition of a tool. Ironically, it makes this post all the more relevant.

The idea for this blog post all started when I was at the orthodontist the other day with my son. I had an interesting conversation with the assistant. She said that before she worked there, she grew up working on cars with her dad using all the tools of the trade. Once she started to work for Dr. Coleman, the Orthodontist, he had to change her vocabulary from "tools" to "instruments." He said, this clarification was important because instruments are "sterile," tools are not. (As a funny aside, when I told my husband this story he said, "cool, we're both sterile". Not in that way, honey. It's sterile as in clean. Back to the story.) Immediately as she said that, the scripture found in Mosiah 27:36 came to my mind, "And thus they were instruments in the hands of God in bringing many to the knowledge of the truth, yea, to the knowledge of their Redeemer." 

As I pondered this simple analogy, it came to me, "The difference between a tool and an instrument is purity." Tools are puppets, instruments are servants. I want to be an instrument.

Orthodontists have many different instruments. Each serves a particular purpose and role. Each is important in their contribution. You could substitute the correct instrument for a particular job, but it wouldn't do as good of a job as the instrument made for the task. Even then, NONE of them would be useful if they were not clean and pure. I want to be pure so that I can be the Lord's instrument. I want to be pure so that when there is a particular job to be done or thing asked of me to do, I will be ready, immediately without having to be purified first.  

I want to have pure motives so that when I am in His service, I am not complaining or whining as I serve Him. I want to have a pure heart, so that my own wants, desires, appetites and passions won't take over. I want to have a servant heart. I want to be pure in mind in my service, so that I deliberately and intentionally serve Him. I don't want to just go through the motions. I want to be so pure that His words are my words, His actions my actions, His thoughts my thoughts and His desires my desires. Last of all, I want to be pure in my obedience. If this involves repentance of any wrong doing, I will square things away with the Lord and be obedient to His words.

I want to be ready when He calls me to His service. I want to be useful in the capacity for which I was created. I want to continue to become the instrument He needs for the work He has for me to do. Sure, someone else could take my place, but they wouldn't do it as good as me because I was born to do it. My destiny is best lived by me, not substituted by one who was not made for that purpose.

The Orthodontist literally could not do his job without those instruments. And just like those instruments, we are invaluable to the Lord. He needs our help. There are things that only we can do. There are things we were specially made to do. We can be ready, we can be pure and we can accomplish our special callings and work He has for us to do.


  1. I love this analogy Jen, very well said. When you also add the fact that instruments (musical in particular) need to also be fine tuned to be most effective, and that tuning needs to be done often (the sacrament), it adds even another layer to this analogy. I love it! Thank you

  2. Such a great post! I totally needed this, thank you for sharing! We need to get together, what is schedule like we need to work something out?

    1. I know, I've been thinking the same thing! My mom does Grammie Preschool on Fridays, so I can do lunch without my kids. Or we can get the kids together to play sometime, that's cool too.