Know What You’re CUT Out For? (Angel in the Kitchen)

“We’re all pretty sharp at something.” But this guy isn’t exactly cut out for working in a deli.

“A place for everything, and everything in its place.” That’s the key to being organized, but it’s also the key to unity and harmony within any type of community or family. Everyone one of us has a special place in this world, a special calling, talent, role to play. We previously stated that people are like knives in a knife block. We’re all pretty sharp at something, but we were each uniquely designed to perform one or two special functions extremely well; and we all need to work at fitting in: we need to find our slot.

For steak? You’re kidding me!

Imagine trying to cut your steak with a cheese knife. Good luck with that. Or imagine peeling a potato with a butcher knife. Goodbye fingers. We all know we need to select the right tool for the right job, right? But have any of you ever tried to use a butter knife to pry the lid from a paint can, or to tighten the screws on something? Wouldn’t it be easier (and safer) to grab the right tool? Sometimes, we know exactly which knife we need for a job, go to reach for it, and … it’s not where it’s supposed to be. So we either stop cooking long enough to locate it, or improvise and use a different knife. (Sometimes, after improvising, we also need to find a bandaid.) That’s why a kitchen runs so much more smoothly when we understand the purpose of each specialized piece of cutlery, and we keep each piece properly positioned in the right slot of the knife block.

Apply this to work, church, family, or any organization. Organizations need to be … ahem, organized. Especially families. Within a group, the members need to know who’s good at what, and then assign each task to the person best capable of doing it. And that person should be available when needed. Families run smoother when there’s a fair and logical division of labor: everyone has a job, everyone knows whose job is what, and everyone is playing his or her part. Dads have a slot that moms will find hard to fill, or vice versa. In church, teachers shouldn’t be playing the organ, greeters shouldn’t be handling the finances, and pastors don’t have time to type up the bulletin.

Folks, specializing is not a dirty word. It allows the most efficient use of time and talent, keeps things orderly and running smoothly, and enables everyone to play a part and discover their gifting. Would you want a podiatrist examining your eyes? Of course not. So, find the slot where you best fit, and be there when you’re needed. Maintain your “family” group the way you would your knife block: a place (role/task/function) for everyone, and everyone in his or her proper slot.

One last thought: “…God is not the author of confusion, but of peace….” (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJB) So then: “…Be sure that everything is done properly and in order.” (1 Corinthians 14:40 NLT)

After all, if you haphazardly toss all your knives into a kitchen drawer, the resulting jumble of blades is not a good situation, at all. When you need a specific knife for a task, you’ll waste a good deal of time sorting through the chaos, and you may even slice a knuckle or two. Meanwhile, the knifes themselves will probably start rubbing each other the wrong way. A few will grow dull. Some may even get bent out of shape. Just saying.


How Do You Smell? (Angel in the Kitchen)


Some foods have such distinctive aromas that we can instantly identify them by smell alone. For instance, the essences of vanilla, bananas, and cinnamon are strong scents that are hard to mask. Of course, vanilla and cinnamon are so pleasant most of us wouldn’t want to cover their smell. In fact, many people use these scents to freshen their rooms.

Not all kitchen smells, however, lend themselves to deodorizer scents. It’s easy to find vanilla or cinnamon-scented candles and sprays at any store, but good luck finding “boiled collards”! Some smells do nothing to freshen the atmosphere. Fried fish and chicken curry may taste good, but their odors (notice we didn’t write aromas) are strong repellents.

Most fresh cooked foods are powerful attractants, though. Throw a steak on the grill and there’s a good chance your neighbor will walk over to say hello. Bring home a steaming pizza, and everyone in the house will suddenly feel hungry — for pizza! Indeed, people are attracted to certain smells. Place a steaming meal on the table and you probably won’t need to ring the dinner bell — your family will be lured by the appetite-arousing aroma!

God greatly blessed us when He gave us the sense of smell, because our world is redolent with a multitude of fragrances. Even people smell.

Uh, that didn’t exactly come out right. No, we’re not referring to BO. Nor are we referring to a lady’s Chanel #5 or a gentleman’s aftershave. Granted, some people are recognizable by the perfume or cologne they use, but the smell we’d like to discuss here is of a spiritual nature. Smells communicate powerful messages to the brain: they can make us hungry or cause us to lose our appetites; attract or repulse us; put us in a relaxed mood or make us feel anxious.

Previously we discussed the “essence” of God. It’s LOVE, the “soothing aroma” of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, which paid the penalty for our sins. (John 3:16) The Apostle Paul wrote, “Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered Himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.” (Ephesians 5:2 NLT)

God’s signature fragrance is love, and in a manner of speaking, Paul admonishes us to “smell” like God. Okay, we know you can’t really smell love, but God wants us to emit love the way a spice cake emits the delicious aroma of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg! He wants us to draw people to His Divine Table the same way the smell of pizza draws us to the kitchen table. So comparing God’s love to a pleasing scent is actually an excellent analogy.

“…I thank God, who always leads us in victory because of Christ. Wherever we go, God uses us to make clear what it means to know Christ. It’s like a fragrance that fills the air.” (2 Corinthians 2:14 GOD’S WORD)

Every believer should smell like the Love of Christ (the Bread of Life)! When we walk into a room, people should immediately be able to detect the comforting aroma — a fragrance that will attract them and make them hungry for the things of God. “…If I am lifted up from the earth I will draw all people to Myself.” (John 12:32 Holman Christian Standard)

Of course, many of us don’t always have this particular scent. Instead we often reek of self-serving indifference or — far more foul — the stink of hatred. But we’re called to be God’s ambassadors to a lost and hurting world — His loving hands extended in friendship and service. So, touch a life. Put on Christ (Galatians 3:27) and fill the atmosphere — at home, school, work, and wherever else God takes you — with the sweet aroma of God’s Love (the essence of 1 Corinthians 13).

By the way, how do you smell?