Today’s Inspiration. In your day-to-day life, are you more often a construction worker, or a demolitionist? Someone who builds, or someone who destroys?
I’m not talking buildings—physical structures—I’m talking people.
I am ashamed to admit that I find myself tearing other people down too often. Usually—and sadly—it’s those I profess to love the most that feel the brunt of this, because they’re the ones who see me at my worst. It’s like Paul said: “What I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do” (Romans 7:15). Those are often the worst times. The best times are those when I am able to follow Paul’s instruction in 1 Thessalonians 5:11, which we’re going back to for today’s inspirational verse:
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (NIV)
Today’s challenge comes from the phrase build each other up.
Today’s Challenge. Earlier, I compared someone who builds people up to a construction worker. The idea is not far off—the Greek this word is translated from gives the sense of “to be a house-builder, i.e. Construct or confirm.” Your challenge today is to think about what it takes to construct something like a house and what the implications are when you apply that to a person or people. What does, or would, it take to build up another person? Pray for understanding as you begin. You may also want to look at cross-references for this verse to help you gain a better understanding of Paul’s meaning (he used the same type of language in 2 Corinthians 12:19 and Ephesians 4:29).
The next part is the harder one—pray about who, in your own life, you should work to build up. Then pray for the Holy Spirit’s help in doing just that—it’s something that is difficult to do in our own power, but possible with God.
Today’s Participation. Try your hand at some art today! Sketch a home or another structure to help you think through what it takes to build something similar, but label parts not as physical building materials, but spiritual ones. Share your sketch online or with a friend. (For Instagram, use #writinglifeaugustchallenge and follow me so I can see it!)