It was advertised that the Devil was going to put some of his tools up for sale. After all, he had a huge assortment, with various models of each, and he figured others might get some use out of them.

On the date of the sale, the tools were placed for public inspection, each being marked with its sale price. The list of implements to be sold was horrifying and unnerving: Hatred, Envy, Jealousy, Deceit, Lying, and Pride, just to name a few.

Laid apart from the rest of the tools was a small, rather harmless-looking tool, well-worn and priced very high.

“What is the name of this tool?” asked one of the prospective purchasers, pointing to it.

“That is Discouragement,” the Devil tersely replied.

“Why have you priced it so high?” inquired the would-be purchaser.

“Because,” said the Devil smugly, “It is more useful to me than all the others. I can pry open hearts and get inside. I can make them do–or  neglect to do–whatever I choose. It is badly worn because I use it on almost everyone since few people know it belongs to me!”

Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed (Hebrews 12:12-13).

via Livingston (TN) church of Christ
Bulletin Digest (January 2005)

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