This past Sunday, we were reminded of the value of a penny, something easily discarded and often found on the ground, considered to be not even worth the effort of bending over to pick it up. As I considered this image, I thought of something else that is frequently tossed to the curb – a nail. Have you ever driven over one, resulting in your car getting a flat tire? If you’re anything like me, the last thing you probably think about when this happens is the true value a nail can have or what it represents. You see something that is dirty, rusty, maybe a little bent, and just cost you money for expensive repairs. However, as we enter this season of Thanksgiving, I believe God is challenging us to see the true value a nail can have and how that should cause us to act.
Financially, you could go to the local Home Depot or Lowe’s and buy a box of 550 assorted nails, for just under $8. This makes each nail worth a little over one penny, from a certain point of view. But, what happens if construction workers are building a new house for you and they use the wrong type of nail for the job they’re doing or they try to cut costs by not using enough nails? According to a quick Google search, there are over 29 types of construction nails and it takes at least 20,000 nails to build a home. This leaves a lot of room for error, especially when we never see the nails. We only see the beautifully finished product, with seemingly strong walls that have decorative paint. We take the nails for granted and simply assume that the construction workers used the right equipment for the right job. But, if your house starts having problems because of poor construction practices, nails now become priceless to you and you would likely pay anything to have your home’s structural integrity restored.
How many times do we take others for granted, people who may be behind the scenes but fulfill critically important jobs in our families, our workplaces, and our Church? In 1 Corinthians 12:12-27, Paul encourages us to remember that we are all one body, made up of many parts. Our hands and head might be the most visible parts of our body, but internal organs like our heart, brain, and kidneys are equally important. God wants us to remember that all people have equal worth, regardless of their background, their education, or the job they perform. As we do with nails, we sometimes take people for granted and disregard how their special gifts make the world a better place.
This Thanksgiving, let us challenge ourselves to find the best in every person and be truly grateful for what they contribute to our lives, our communities, and the kingdom of God. No matter how old, dirty, or crooked a person may appear, God can make all things new through His son, Jesus, who suffered the excruciating pain of crucifixion, demonstrating the incredible importance three single nails bore for all of humanity.
Just as thousands of nails of different types are needed to build a house, God needs each one of us to help build His Church. Would you be a strong nail for Him and give to Kingdom Builders? Whatever you can give, you’re helping to build a strong house for the kingdom of God.
by Paul McCullough
Paul and his family came to Kingsway four years ago, after moving back to the United States from an overseas military tour in Japan. He has been with his bride, Heather, for 21 years and they have been blessed with two great kids, Paul IV and Sarah. Paul is passionate about ministry, working full time at the American Bible Society and engaging at Kingsway in KLS, Growth Track, Next Steps, and LifeGroups. He enjoys spending his spare time reading, building nanoblocks, and watching great movies.