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Thursday, April 7, 2011

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!