I bought a book on coaching youth football when my boys were young. The coach of a team had resigned, and I needed to step into his role. Never having coached youth football, I searched online for any help I could find. This included reading articles, watching videos, and checking every available resource. There was a guy who coached in Nebraska and produced winning teams no matter who or where he coached. He had written a book, and I shelled out the money for the possibility of being a better coach.
In the early pages of the book, he tells of his experience training youth football coaches. While traveling around the country giving seminars, he is often greeted by coaches after the session who want to talk. He said that he is always amazed at them. Most of the have matching outfits, high dollar shoes, numerous resources, and often an iPad to help them. Yet, none of them are successful. This led him to do some surveys of his listeners and readers and discover that the majority had never had any instruction on how to be a youth football coach. They had all the tools and none of the skill set.
Not too many years later, I was reading an author who was talking about his work and that of other writers. He said something like, “When I go to a coffee shop and see someone writing on a $3000 Mac laptop and using expensive moleskin journals, I know they are not a good writer.” He went on to explain that these people were investing in tools instead of learning how to write. He emphasized that good writing comes through trial and error, along with careful editing. No tool in the world can give you those things if you do not possess a proper work ethic.
Unfortunately, I have seen the same thing in the Church. When I see someone with a large study Bible, a journal, and a beautiful pen set, I think to myself; there is someone who rarely opens their Bible. They have become so enamored with the latest and coolest tools that they have missed the point.
The person who wants to know God and serve him has all the tools they need in a free Bible app or a $5 paperback English translation of the Bible. Religious profiteers take advantage of new Christians and convince them that they need numerous high dollar supplies to make them a better Christian. That is simply not true.
The desire to know God is greater than the tools you own. To those who want to look good, there are never enough tools. To the person who truly wants to know him, nothing will get in their way.