Friday, March 27, 2015

The Dead Blow Hammer

Living Lesson: The Dead-Blow Hammer
By: Christopher Wiles
Drew and Lori have been very helpful on our new home.  Lori is a painting machine and Drew has every tool known to man.  It wasn't surprising when Mr. Myers showed up with a laminate flooring installation kit in his hands for me to borrow while putting ours in.  The kit included a tapping block and a pulling bar.  The block is great when you've got a lot of space to swing a hammer, the pulling bar is for when you lack that precious space. 
I didn't read the instructions, so I figured any old hammer would do to hit this metal pull bar.  My 23 oz. ball-peen hammer had a nice flat striking surface, so I started with that.  It did the trick and soon became Gabriel's weapon of choice as we found out he loved laying laminate.  So I upgrade my hammer to a 5 lb. mini-sledge hammer.  Bigger is better right?  What's better than 23 oz of swinging steel?  You're right, 80 oz. of cold, hard, floor mashing metal.  Or so I thought.
It didn't take long for the welds to break on the pull bar under the force of my monstrous blows, rendering the tool useless.  After a quick trip to Lowe's to buy Drew a new pull bar, I received the instruction that I should have been using a 23 oz. dead-blow hammer.  What's a dead-blow?  It's a special hammer that minimizes shock, vibration and miss hits.  In other words, it's the right tool for the job and a lot more gentle than my favorite mini-sledge. 
How many of us try to do God's work with the wrong tools?  I think we especially use the wrong tools when correcting error or handling conflict.  Our passive aggressive culture has taught us to either ignore error/conflict or use the biggest, boldest, baddest tools possible.  We either ignore people hoping the conflict will go away or we resort to yelling, cussing, and fist-fighting with them. 
We would do well to remember the instructions that God gave for handling conflict and the tools that He requires for the job. 
"Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness." - Galatians 6:1
 
"
Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage--with great patience and careful instruction." - 2 Timothy 4:2

"If you ... remember that your brother has something against you...go; first be reconciled to your brother." - from Matthew 5:23-24

"If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over." - Matthew 18:15