Day 3: Tame It! Taming Our Hands
“Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands upon us; yes, establish the work of our hands!” (Psalm 90:17, ESV).
The Bible says a lot about our hands and how we use them. And I mean a lot. Just look at the book of Proverbs and you’ll see so many passages that speak just about our hands. But I think the best way to understand how God wants us to tame our hands is to simply look at how Jesus used His. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to us that every single way He used them was for our good and for God’s glory.
Jesus used His hands to heal. Let’s look at this excerpt from Mark’s writing: “And He took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village …. Then Jesus laid His hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly” (Mark 8:23, 25). Though He could’ve just used His words, Jesus intentionally used His hands to heal this man. His hands showed His love and care.
Jesus also used His hands to serve. In John 13, we read the story of Jesus washing the feet of His disciples (followers). I encourage you to read that story for yourself, as it teaches us so much about ourselves and about Jesus. But I want to emphasize that Jesus did this as an example for His disciples (v. 15), and said to them, “If you know these things, you are blessed if you do them” (John 13:17, NASB). Jesus wanted His followers—then and now—to use their hands to serve others just as He did.
Jesus also used His hands to bless others. In Mark’s writing, we read these beautiful words: “He took the children in His arms, placed His hands on them and blessed them” (Mark 10:16, NIV). While this doesn’t really need any further explanation, we can simply take comfort in the fact that Jesus used His hands to bless these children. He used His hands to show them His love.
After reading these examples of how the Lord Jesus used His hands, let’s reflect on how we use ours, and, more importantly, how we should use them. The words of Scripture are sufficient to help us understand what our hands are capable of. In Mark 9, Jesus said to His disciples: “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him” (v. 31). Jesus was speaking about Himself and His death on the cross; it was by people’s hands that this was accomplished. If it was true of people then, it is true of people today—this is the extent to which our hands can be used.
But God’s story is one of redemption, because He gave His Son to pay for our sins. So instead of allowing our hands to be responsible for sin, let’s follow Christ’s example and let God teach us how to use our hands: “Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands” (Psalm 90:17).
We can use our hands to work: “He must labor [work], performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need” (Ephesians 4:28, NASB). In other words, we should use our hands to be productive. That may include taking care of our home, working a job to provide for our family, or helping a friend with a project, among many other things. But in any case, we should avoid laziness and instead use our hands to work so we can honor God and help people.
We can also use our hands to bless others: “She opens her hand to the poor and reaches out her hands to the needy” (Proverbs 31:20). There are so many ways our hands can be used to bless others … writing someone a card, making someone a meal, helping someone clean their home or fix their car … and it glorifies God when we use our hands that way.
Most of all, we can use our hands to long for and lean on God: “I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land” (Psalm 143:6). Let’s be people who are characterized by reading God’s Word, praying to Him, and serving others. That is how we follow the example Jesus gave and use our hands for God’s glory.