Skip to main content

Building Materials

1 Lady Wisdom builds a lovely home; Sir Fool comes along and tears it down brick by brick.  2 An honest life shows respect for God; a degenerate life is a slap in his face. 
(Proverbs 14:1-2)

There are many ways to build a house - none is as good as using wisdom in the process.  We build our "houses" with various building "blocks" - our actions, words, and attitudes.  Since this is the "material" we build with, it is important that we use great care in which "blocks" go into the making of our house.  The stability of our household depends on the quality of the materials used in the building!

There is one "building block" that I did not mention in the list above - that is the one we call "guilt".  There are so many households today that have incorporated "guilt" as the material they use to build their household.  Guilt is both a negative and a positive building material - it depends on the skill of the builder.  Let me explain...

If we use guilt as a way of manipulating the outcome of a circumstance so that it weighs in our favor, we could say that guilt is a negative building material.  This type of guilt causes relationships to crumble (so we would say the material was defective).  If we use guilt as a way of demeaning another so that they are constantly under the pressure of "not measuring up", we could say that guilt is again a negative material.  This type of guilt reduces individuals within the household to rubble.

If we see guilt for its intended purpose, we understand that it has a place in the building of a household.  For example, when Dad taught me some lessons of making concrete, he told me of the proper mixture of sand, water, cement, and limestone or other crushed rock.  Too much or not enough of any of these ingredients made the concrete brittle and it would crack, leaving the foundation flawed or useless.  The godly understand the value of guilt - it is a result of a violation of our relationship in some shape or form that leaves a sense of "pain".  If we recognize guilt as a building material that helps us recognize when the "building" is a little off kilter, then we are making good use of guilt as a building material in our household.

Guilt then drives us to remedy the "bad building" - those things that have resulted in relational difficulties (either between us and God, or us and others).  We have to look beyond he surface in any building that takes form to see the elements that went into the building process.  No structure is fully evident by the "covering" it bears.  The drywall conceals the many erect and cross-bracing two-by-fours beneath it.  The same is true in our household relationships - laughter is a good surface material, but it often hides a heavy or hurting heart.  Never judge the "finished product" by the material it displays openly - there is often much below the surface that may require your attention.

Just a few lessons on building this morning!  Hope you enjoyed!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Your full attention, please

My mother frequently uses the term "Listen to me!" as a way of getting my attention so that I actually stop, pay close attention, and hear out whatever her idea or issue is at the moment. It isn't always at the most convenient moment, nor is it always easy for her to get out whatever it is she wants to share. Yet, it is important enough for her to ask to for me to hear it, so I respond with, "I'm listening, mom", and she begins.  It isn't said in anger or in a moment of disappointment. Rather, these words are usually spoken in a "sing-song" manner, but with very specific intent - they are intended to get me to REALLY listen to what she was saying. Why? Because she knows she has something to say even if it is getting harder for her to say it! She has walked through much already, learned many lessons, and has the advantage of experience on her side, but the disadvantage of advancing age makes it harder and harder for her to actually form those t…

Getting at the heart of it all

Have you ever seen someone so good with their skinning knife they can just peel away the hide of an animal without a rip or tear, no waste of any of the meat just below that skin? I have seen some fishermen able to fillet their catch with such skill not even one bone is found in the fillet. How do they learn this skill? I think it comes to them through practice and with the employment of the right 'tool' to do the job at hand. There is comfort in knowing that God means what he says and his Word will come to pass. His Word is like the scalpel in the skilled hands of a surgeon or the knife in the hands of the skilled hunter. As a nurse, I have seen the skillful use of the scalpel - dissecting away the finest of tissue to protect the healthy tissue and to expose the tissue that has become devitalized by disease or decay. I have also seen the damage done by a "blade" in the hands of one not trained or at all skilled in its use. The difference is beyond description.

God m…

Be a little salt

Ever wonder why Jesus left his disciples with the idea of being 'salt on this earth'? We don't fully appreciate salt these days because we aren't as accustomed to how it was used during the times Jesus spoke those words. We often have to put ourselves into the culture where the words are being recorded in order to fully comprehend the significance of their meaning. In the days of the disciples, salt was a basic "staple" of life. It was that which acted as "preservation" for everything. It also was the main seasoning of the dishes prepared - although there were other spices, salt was a 'staple'. Perhaps we would do well to look at some of the other functions of salt in order to see what Jesus may have meant when he referred to our lives a salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of the earth.

"Let me tell you why you are here. You're here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltin…