TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing. (1 Thessalonians 5:11 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• This morning, I wrapped up reading from Jeremiah. Jeremiah 52:17-23 outlines the destruction of the Temple. As I read the passage, I started thinking about the way we as humans dismantle things we don’t like or agree with… We see it playing out in our cities right now. For instance, look at the destruction of our historical monuments that are among the casualties of protest. When we destroy our history, we miss the opportunity to learn from it — what did we do right? What did we do wrong? We miss the opportunity to grow from it — look how far we’ve come! And we put ourselves in the position to repeat it — we end up making the same mistakes because we refuse to learn from others who went before us… and we doom ourselves to needless heartache.
But beyond historical statues and our history books, what else have we dismantled? What other casualties come from our efforts to tear down? Just because we don’t like something someone says, do we have the right to tear them down?
Let’s put a pin there and go to two passages… first, James 1:19, “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger…” Next, let’s look at Philippians 2:3-4, “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.”
Let’s pull out that pin and go back to our questions. What else do we dismantle? What other casualties come from our efforts to tear down? Could those casualties include marriages? Relationships? Our beliefs? Do we have the right to tear down people we don’t agree with?
It’s easier to tear down than it is to build up. Our words and actions, especially right now, are critically important. The Bible is full of opportunities for us to learn, grow, and be better than we were yesterday.
We are cautioned to choose our words wisely. We are cautioned to temper our anger. We are instructed to think of others. When we do these things, along with Jesus’ command to love others as we love ourselves (John 13:34), we build others up as instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.”
As our country years apart at the seams, and systematically destroys our history in the process, we as Christians need to remember our part in this. We can’t contribute to the problem. We need to exercise discernment and remember to approach all of this — even those we disagree with — with kindness. We need to care more about following the commands of God than we care about dismantling the things and people we don’t like!
Today, as you pray, thank God for reminders to build up, rather than tear down. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you understand how your words and attitude play into the destruction of or building up of others. Ask Him to fill you with His fruit—love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).
SHARING ••• Please share with others! Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. ***Unless noted otherwise, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.