Connecting Point: Building 101

 


I grew up watching the television series This Old House, a 1980’s home improvement show. With only one television in our home, our family accepted my father’s choice. The construction variety of the show was dad’s attraction. Now, I, too, dabble in my own home projects, and it’s very motivational. When I get done with a fence or patio, there’s just something about it. Moreover, I’ve had the pleasure of working side by side with my father on numerous occasions; in turn, I see the wisdom in doing the same with my wife’s and my children. Aren’t we all building something: a business, a relationship, an organization? I think all of us, in one way or another, are building a family.

King Solomon utilizes fourteen different pairings or phrases in Ecclesiastes 3:3, one of which includes “…a time to tear down and a time to build.” Historians appreciate Solomon for his construction efforts, after two decades his temple was finally completed. Some monetary estimates by contemporary comparison estimate Solomon’s temple today would cost over 220 trillion dollars. The finest of gold, silver, bronze, iron, ivory, and cedar were utilized.


Any person with a basic knowledge of construction understands the necessity of order in the building process. One never starts with constructing the roof before a foundation has been laid. Just as there is purpose and order in natural life including planting and harvesting, construction requires similar sequential processes. Under Solomon’s leadership, an extensive team of craftsmen labored together for the common goal.

In This Old House, Bob Villa and his crew assessed remodels due to the show’s vision. At times there were minor adjustments or updates according to the customer's preference. But other projects involved major overhauls, involving the removal or relocating of walls. Other builders find it necessary to start completely over, but not This Old House. The end results were always impressive. In Solomon’s words, “There’s nothing new under the sun…a time to tear down and a time to build up.”

Bible teachings can at times include analogies as in Solomon’s words; however, we must proceed with caution as we don’t want to communicate something that isn’t intended by the author. Paul ahead of his planned third visit to the Corinthian church is quite candid with this group of believers who had been struggling with infighting, self-serving behavior, and continued sinful practices. “This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down,” (2 Corinthians 13:10). Paul was never overbearing, he spoke to the matter giving correction where it was needed in addition to the primary goal of building up the church. A Christian’s words and actions are to be wholesome and purposeful to build others up, not to tear one another apart.

At all times, God and his Word are to be honored

 

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