“Recompense to no man evil for evil. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 17,18)
Father’s Day is coming up and that got me to thinking about toolboxes, and toolboxes got me to thinking about this broken world we live in. Toolboxes and Father’s Day just go hand-in-hand for some reason. Every father has one and they are usually filled to the brim with just the right tools for just the right task, because every father knows you can’t fix something that’s broken unless you have the right tools. Not every father has the same tools in their toolbox, however. Some fathers have better tools than others. The father who has the superior set of tools is much better equipped to properly fix what’s broken than the father who does not. This world we are living in is broken and we need the Father with the superior set of tools to fix it.
Fixing this world is a big project and there are a lot of workers working on it, but they’re not all using the same tools and sometimes those tools can get a little mixed up in the process. We need to be sure we’re not using the wrong tools from the wrong father’s toolbox. Anything that kills, steals and destroys, is not from our Heavenly Father’s toolbox. These tools are only used to tear things down, not build them up. Our Father’s tools are easy to recognize; here’s just a few of them: “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” “Everyone should look out not only for his own interests but also for the interest of others.” “Pursue what promotes peace.” “Forgive one another as God has forgiven you.” “Mercy triumphs over judgment.” “As much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” “Do not follow a crowd to do evil.” “Love covers a multitude of sins.” And the number one all-purpose tool in the box, “Above all put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity.” Those are some good tools from a good father’s toolbox.
These tools are intended to be used for the building up of one another in love. They are not meant to be used for one side over another. The only side God takes is good over evil. That’s the side we need to make sure we’re on, because sometimes we might think we are, when in reality we are not. We are told in I John 3:15, “Everyone who hates his brother or sister is a murderer.” God has determined that hatred in the heart of a person makes that person a murderer in his eyes. We’ve all seen the evidence of that on both sides of this issue. Hatred in the heart of a man leads to murder. It’s what led to the very first murder of a man. According to God, anyone who has hatred in their hearts is capable of murder. Examine your heart and check your tools!
Everybody has a father, but not everybody has the same father. We now have DNA tests that can prove who the father of a child is beyond a shadow of a doubt. I John 2:3 tells us, “Everyone who does what is right is born of him. See what great love the Father has given us that we should be called God’s children.” On the other hand, in John 8:44, Jesus said of the religious leaders who challenged him, “You are of your father the devil and you want to carry out your father’s desires.” Jesus knew who his father was, but they didn’t realize who their’s was. The NKJV Commentary observes, “Their hatred of truth, their lies and their murderous intentions indicated how much control the devil had over them. They were tools in carrying out his plans.” The desires of our hearts to do good or evil is our spiritual DNA. It proves who our daddy really is. When I was a young girl and would misbehave my mom would often say, “You’re act’n like the devil.” That could be said of a lot of people right now. Some people want unity and peace, others just want to stir up strife and run around act’n like the devil. Two fathers – two sets of toolboxes. One pursues the things that make for peace, the other the things that kill, steal and destroy. At the end of the day, people are not a skin color, they are simply good or evil with skin on them, born of different fathers. I hope all the fathers out there have a happy Father’s Day and I hope you all get a new set of tools. This broken world needs fix’n, and it needs fix’n right.
ACT’N LIKE THE DEVIL
Two men in their hatred stand, face-to-face, man-to-man
One born black, the other white, and over this they fight their fight
One born free, another slave, sins of the past that won’t go away
The color of skin all they see, neither wanting the other to be
And so they boldly take their stand, face-to-face, man-to-man
Unaware they’ve been deceived, for they both belong to me
Both my slave, neither free, born into my family
Some born here, some born there, many my children everywhere
One no better than another, all a sister or a brother
Some born rich, some born poor, some with less some with more
Some are noble, some despised, all are equal in my eyes
I show no partiality, the color of skin matters not to me
I don’t care if you are black or white, if you kill or if you fight
You can hate and you can despise, you are all equal in my eyes
For no matter the color of your skin, you all belong to the family of sin
Each child born equally unto me, members of my family
So hurt each other every day, I love it when you act this way
I love to watch you quarrel and fight, your hatred is my heart’s delight
I love it when you stir up strife, bring division and destroy a life
I love it when you kill, steal and destroy, it makes my heart overflow with joy
And I don’t mind if you don’t lay claim, to relationship with my name
But our relationship hard as you try, simply cannot be denied
You have but to take a long, hard stare, to see my reflection there
The proof of me lies inside of you, in every hurtful thing you do
For hatred in the heart of man, is where murder first began
So kill each other if you please, no difference does it make to me
For I delight to see my face, reflected on the human race.
Affectionately Your Father,