When we human beings invent things, we are not always the final authority on the use of our own inventions. Just ask the manufacturer. For example, somebody invented the wheel. Today, many wheels are used for the exact same purpose as the original wheel—to make it easier and faster to move heavy objects. Meanwhile, other people have come along and improved the original wheel, making it more efficient, reducing bounce, and so forth. Yet others have found entirely new uses for the wheel—pulleys, gears, and generators of energy when used in conjunction with wind and water. Modern humans are greater authorities on wheels than were the inventor(s) of the wheel.
Some new uses of the wheel have increased the benefit to mankind while doing no harm to the wheel itself. A slight modification to the design of the wheel makes a great discus or Frisbee. Who’d have thought—flying wheels! And if the right materials and designs are used, they fly without damage upon landing. Of course, if you just add teeth to the rim of the flying wheel, it can do great damage on impact.
Beginning in the late twentieth century, people began to put labels on some wheels—labels that I have always found ridiculous. Somebody figures that a wheel on the end of a metal shaft can be tightened into a hand-held drill. If the outer surface of that wheel is rough, it can be used to remove varnish or paint from an old dresser or from a boat hull. That’s great! What a time and energy saver! Why does it need a sticker, though? To tell us—as if we didn’t already know—NOT to use this wheel to exfoliate our skin!
Are we really that stupid? “Don’t shave with a lawn mower!” “Don’t slice cheese with a chainsaw!” (I actually saw that one done once!) “I’m going to sue you because that deli meat slicer has no ‘Don’t Use This To Trim Your Fingernails’ sticker on it!”
What’s This Got to Do with Jesus?
Speaking of Jesus Christ, Colossians 1:16 says,
For all things in heaven and on earth were created by Him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through Him and for Him.
I’d like to draw some huge contrasts between all other human beings and the unique God-man, Jesus Christ.
1. What Jesus creates cannot be improved upon. It can only be used to its fullest capacity.
No individual and no collective body of individuals can, for instance, improve on Jesus’ design of stars. Some stars are burning brighter or more efficiently than others, but Jesus has no concern regarding somebody making a better star—even in concept. Stars do what stars do in the places and at the rates that they need to for the perfect operation of the universe.
Somebody may say, “Jesus made sand. I can improve on sand by making it into something more useful, like glass.”
I’ll answer, “You go right ahead and make your glass. That’s what Jesus put some of that sand there for anyway. He’s got other purposes for the rest of it.”
2. Nobody will ever be a greater authority than Jesus on anything that Jesus has created.
You and I cannot think of a way to use (or to misuse) anything that God has made that God hasn’t already thought of being used or misused in that way. [Maybe He needs to put a sticker on it. Oh, wait. He already did.]
You know, there are people who tear the stickers off of some inventions so they can use them in ways that the inventions were neither designed or intended to be used, all the while hoping that they will not be caught in their ill-advised usage of the product.
- blow dryers in wet areas
- three-pronged cords plugged into two-hole outlets
- a .44-caliber shell taped to the end of the barrel of a BB-gun to try to kill a squirrel
Let’s be reminded that God has already given us instruction on the proper use of so very many things like our eyes, our minds, our mouths, our animals, and the planet. God is really a bigger authority on government, on sex, and on money than we are. If we don’t know how to use these things, then we really ought to be bringing them to Him so that He can help us out.
3. There is no such thing as the proper use of any created thing apart from its use for Jesus.
Remember, Colossians 1:16 says, “…all things were created through Him and for Him.” If we can’t honor Jesus in the use of something, then we can be certain that we are not using it correctly.
It’s Not Working Right? Why Not Ask the Manufacturer?
When we see the world falling apart with so many things not working—marriage, government, violence—maybe we shouldn’t be blaming the original design, especially if we’ve never checked the Designer’s instruction sheets for proper usage. Maybe we should humbly ask, “Lord Jesus, was there a sticker I was supposed to read on that?”