Saturday, April 12, 2008

A time to build up.

Ecc. 3:3 A time to break down, and a time to build up. May 30, 2007
I wasn't always a farm boy. Up until I was eleven I lived in the city, shortly after my eleventh birthday my family moved from a half acre plot (or less), to the 160 acre farm where we now reside. When we lived in the city, we never had any animals except for a few fish in a fish bowl, and at one time a cat. (I still cherish those childhood memories of the adorable four year old me, dragging the cat around by it's tail.) Back to the subject at hand, when we made the drastic move, one of the first things we did was got animals, all sorts of animals. We had cows and horses, dogs and cats, goats and rabbits, and then there was the chickens. All the other animals looked out for their own kind, dogs protected dogs, cows stuck with cows, and if you messed with one rabbit you had a pack on your hands, okay maybe not the rabbits. The chickens were another story entirely, if one chicken got a cut all the rest would mercilessly peck at the cut. All the healthy chickens picked on the hurt one. Unfortunately, I'm a chicken. I'd rather point the finger than lend a hand. I'm ashamed to say it, but the more I look around the more I see everyone else doing the same. The Christians that are supposed to be showing Christ to the world through their love for one another, are all too busy looking out for number one to worry about helping the brother who has been knocked down. Instead we'll climb over him, if it helps us get to the top. Oh, there's a time to break down, a time to break down our pride, a time to break down our walls of prejudice, but we get so caught up in the breaking down we forget that there is a time to be building up.
Paul writes a young minister named Timothy, and we read in his letter, II Tim. 4:2 "Reprove, rebuke, exhort." All three are critical for a healthy relationship with our brothers and sisters in Christ. At times we need to tear down, we need to reprove and rebuke; but so often our problem is that we leave out the exhortation and our relationships crumble. We spend all our time tearing down and not enough building up. Christians would do well to start focusing on building up those around us. Going the extra mile to be kind to those we work with, going out of our way to tell someone they did a good job, getting over our pride and telling our family we appreciate what they do for us every day. If we would start building up those lives we come in contact with every day, I think we would start to notice something, that in building up other we get built up, in encouraging others we get a shot of encouragement ourselves. Let's make this day the time to build up, although that may require a little bit of tearing down for your pride.

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