Posted by: Philip Rushton | February 8, 2012

The Spiritual Gift of Craftsmanship and How I Don’t Have It!

On a scale of one to ten, with ten being very handy and one being completely useless at fixing things, I would score about a 0.5. I tried to warn Julie about this when we bought a 60 year old house, but the lure of charm trumped my lack of home repair skill. So I have been on a learning curve for the past few months.

One of the things I have learned is to distrust the estimated times given for certain repair projects. The label on the new toilet float said, “easy installation in under 15 minutes.” That 15 minute project turned into an epic 2 hour event full of emotional ups and downs.

I spent this past weekend running a new electrical line from the house to the garage. A couple months ago I noticed smoke rising from the overhead electrical line. This is never a good sign! My first line of defense is always to ignore the problem and hope it goes away, but this did not work this time. The breaker tripped and the wire was beyond repair. So on Saturday Drew and I dug a sixty foot trench and buried a new line. Daryl Berg then stepped in to help me with the intricacies of household wiring!

I’ve been reflecting this morning on the gift it is to have people skilled in the areas of construction and home repair. Without Daryl I would have been completely lost, and potentially electrocuted. Heck, I even needed coaching on how to install a drill bit as I created a path for the new wire to be hung!

In preparation for our bible read through group tonight I’ve been reading through Exodus. The book gets a bit redundant and boring when Moses talks about the plans for building the tabernacle. However, in the midst of all the details and measurements we encounter an interesting side note about two men named Bezalel and Oholiab. Concerning these two men, the Lord says to Moses, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts – to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood, and to engage in all kinds of craftsmanship.”

In our Christian culture we often celebrate the gifts of teaching, shepherding, mercy and evangelism, but we neglect the more practical gifts like the gift of craftsmanship. I think it is important for us to affirm and celebrate those who have gifts in the trades and to recognize that these gifts play an important role in the kingdom of God. Thanks to all of you who have devoted your life to mastering a craft or a trade! May God continue to use your talents for his kingdom purposes.


  1. As you encourage us to continue to develop our gifts and our spiritual lives through the disciplines let me encourage you to develop your skills at carpentry, plumbing and electrical by doing simple tasks and working up to more complex tasks. There are a lot of folks around you that you can lean on for advice and assistance. We do that to you ALL the time!

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