Exodus 26: Skilled Workers Needed! (Guest post by Alise Wright)

So here’s the scoop people: today is a guest post by Alise Wright. She is a fantastic writer with a fantastic blog and I am thrilled to have her reflect on Exodus 26. But you may be asking yourself, “What happened to Exodus 25?”

Great question.

I don’t believe in Exodus 25.

Just kidding. I do and I just got a little behind with all my travels. Hopefully i will have it up on Monday and then on Tuesday or something we can get back into the groove of things.

So read the post and go subscribe to her blog. DO IT!
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I asked Ben if I could guest post about this chapter a few weeks ago. He agreed to let me give it a go and I started writing that day. Then I didn’t like the way the piece was going and I discarded it and started over. Then I didn’t like the way that piece was going and I deleted it and started over again. No lie, I have written this a minimum of six times. I can’t decide if it was a good thing or a bad thing that our gracious host was out of town so I had more time to obsess over work on this.

What has really tied me up about Exodus 26 (even though it’s why I wanted to write about it in the first place) is the whole “skilled worker” thing.

“Make the tabernacle with ten curtains of finely twisted linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn, with cherubim woven into them by a skilled worker.”

“Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim woven into it by a skilled worker.”

For a long time, the impression I had was that being skilled was a bad thing. It wasn’t that you shouldn’t work hard, but if you were really good at something, you probably should hold back at least a little bit.

As a church musician, being a performer in any way was decidedly negative. Being showy, whether it was playing your absolute best or simply engaging your full self in the music would result in a talking-to and was cause for concern. Play well enough that people can sing along, but don’t do anything that could potentially draw any attention to you and your talents.

This resulted in me being unable to take a compliment for anything. Someone mentioned that they liked what I’d written and I would talk about how someone else was way better than me. I would receive a compliment about something that I played in church and I would be sure to point out the mistakes that I made. No thank you’s, no appreciation, just lots of self-deprecation. And not the funny kind, just the annoying kind.

When God was giving instructions for the construction of the very place that he was to dwell with the Israelites, he asked for skilled workers. Their work would be seen and admired by the whole nation, but it was still something that was to be done well.

God needs your talents today. If you have an artistic flair, he wants it. If you have a head for numbers, he wants it. If you can teach or sing or write or bake or clean or organize, there’s a place for you. Your gift is not meant to be hidden. There’s work to be done and God is still looking for skilled people to do it.

How about you? Do you have a skill that you have been hesitant to use?
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Alise Wright is married to her best friend and mom to four amazing kids. She loves knitting, playing keyboards in a cover band, and eating soup. She also loves meeting new friends and you can connect with her at her blog, on Twitter or on Facebook.

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10 responses

  1. I didn’t even call myself a writer until January, even though I’ve been writing my whole life. The more I care about a talent I have, the scarier it is to share it with others. Now I’m not just admitting I’m a writer but full-out writing a novel. If God can use my words? Well, that’ll be the icing on the cake.

    • It’s bizarre because I didn’t grow up thinking that I should hide things away – that happened in adulthood. Reclaiming the talents that I have and using them well has been a lot of hard work, but so very important. Good for you for following your dream and using your talents completely for God!

  2. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to use my superior gleeking skills to glorify God. It hasn’t been going so well.

    Seriously though, this is so important. I’m glad you picked this chapter because artist and “skilled workers” absolutely glorify God. More people than not have a good heart with the right motives. They just feel like they don’t want to steal from God’s glory by fully using their gifts.

    The irony is that the more you use the gifts He gives you, the more He is glorified!

  3. Alise,

    As you know, this is a topic near and dear to my heart. I used to do the same–always putting myself down in that annoying way. Thing is, others start to believe–and you end up pushing them away (“Why should I listen to you? Or read what you have to say? I mean, thanks for telling me you suck–I’ll go read Acuff”).

    In an oblique way, I wrote about this yesterday; namely, using out passions as a clue to find what we’re supposed to do with our lives.

    If God has given us gifts, how does it glorify Him to belittle them, hide them under a bushel, or–gulp–bury that “talent?” (Side note: that particular parable, I’m guessing, is powerfully convicting to us creative types).

    Anyway, sorry for the post-length response. And, you go, girl! Show ’em what you’re made of!

    • Oh, friend, you speak truth here. It’s so suckish!

      I’m trying hard not to let myself get into the wallow-y, “I’m no good” place so much. I’ve got awesome folks in my life who won’t hear that from me and as a result, I’m saying it less often. It happens every now and again, but not like it did. Those wounds can go sooooo deep, but we must clean ’em out and allow healing to happen! Praying that you will continue to find that healing, my brother!

  4. Great post! I just found your blog the other day, Alise, and I’m so glad because I love love love your writing! Also pretty excited about this Bible-blogging thing! 🙂

    This is something I’ve been learning as well – though I’ve only recently started figuring out how God has gifted me to bring glory to Him and to edify the Church. I had always been thrust into ministry situations that I super-suck at, particularly children’s ministry (because I have a uterus) and teaching Sunday School (which makes me a sweaty mess because I literally can’t think and talk at the same time). But I can write! I can think (painfully)slowly and process it all, and thanks to the blogging world, I can share my thoughts with other Christians – which is both scary and exciting. And I’ve discovered that for me, writing has become a medium of grace. Once I stopped allowing myself to be shoved into a certain ministry mold and allowed God to just do whatever with me, I found that things were actually working. God is being glorified, and I don’t feel exhausted from doing things I wasn’t created to do.

  5. I don’t know if it’s a skill I am hesitant to use but I do enjoy painting/drawing/airbrushing. Though many have said I should sell what I do create, I just don’t know how much I should sell my art for.

  6. Hey Alise,

    As a music lover, that whole “Don’t let the musicians go wild” thing totally pissed me off growing up in church. Why can’t we be proud of the gifts the Father gave us? Go NUTS!

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