Are You a Fixer-Upper?


Are you a fixer-upper like me?

I’m not talking about rehabbing houses–or even making minor repairs, although I enjoy restoring or updating houses to give them new life.

I’m talking about “fixing” other people–giving advice, seeing exactly what they need to do.  Jesus called it hypocritical: “How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye?” (Luke 6:42, ESV).

I’ve heard it said that when a woman vents about a problem, she wants someone to listen and empathize, but that a man thinks she wants him to solve the problem. He gives advice and offers solutions when all she wants is to be heard. I know that happens in my marriage.

But it works both ways. Sometimes I volunteer advice when it’s not wanted–to my husband, to my children, to my friends. Maybe even here in this blog or on Facebook. (My apologies if I’ve hit a nerve at some point and you didn’t appreciate it.)

It occurred to me this weekend that I can’t “fix” anyone else, or even myself. I can read self-improvement books, take courses in organizing my life, apply principles and make incremental changes. But nothing I do is going to achieve the ultimate goal of perfection. And no advice I give is going to instantaneously persuade you to strive to meet my standards.

Instead, we have a Father who loves us in spite of the fact that we don’t measure up. And He is the champion “fixer-upper.”

God takes our decrepit, rundown shacks and rejuvenates them. He doesn’t just slap on a coat of whitewash and fix a doorknob or two. He guts the house and makes it new again. Jesus said, “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly” (John 10:10, ESV).

I don’t know about you, but next time I think I have all the answers–for myself or someone else–, I’m going to step back and re-think, then go back to the Word.

Because I want the ultimate Fixer-Upper working in my life.