“The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish tears it down with her own hands.”
Proverbs 14:1 (NASB)
When I was seven years old, I wanted to grow a watermelon. So, one day after eating this favorite fruit of mine I rinsed off a few watermelon seeds and planted them in the ground following my dad’s instructions. I watered them and watched them and waited to see what would happen. A little vine started to grow, but after a few weeks I couldn’t see a watermelon yet so I yanked it up. I got so mad I stomped the ground around it with all of my first-grade strength. I had just torn down the plant I was trying to grow.
Proverbs 14:1 explains the results of wisdom and foolishness. A wise person builds while the foolish one destroys. In my watermelon-growing endeavor, I lost the vision and foolishly destroyed what I had tried to build, all because of my impatience and anger. I tore up that vine with my own hands and as a result I lost my chance to see the fruit of my labor.
Have you ever worked hard to build something, maybe a career, a garden, a house, a company, a friendship, a family? Did you see it to completion, or did you destroy it somewhere along the way?
Think about the important things you are trying to build in your life. Are there any obstacles you need to overcome to continue building and avoid tearing something down? It’s painful to think we, ourselves, can be the cause of losing a dream to which we aspire or destroying relationships with friends or family. Don’t let jealousy, bitterness, negative speech, sexual immorality, anger, impatience or addictions destroy the “buildings” in your life.
The apostle Paul told the Ephesians to “get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32 NIV). He exhorted them to “be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love” (Ephesians 4:2 NIV), all for the sake of unity. We should heed this counsel as well, since all of these traits help build, rather than destroy, unity in our lives.
Whatever godly buildings are in your life, work to keep their foundations strong by fixing your focus on God (Proverbs 4:25-27) and setting your mind on things above (Colossians 3:2), inspecting them for cracks (Psalm 139:23-24 ) and maintaining them with prayer (1 Chronicles 16:11). Don’t give up or purposely destroy the buildings in your life. Be a builder!