Jay's eDevotionals  

Jan 14

Do You Build Up or Tear Down?

Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers and he brought to their father a bad report about his brothers.” (Genesis 37:2)

Joseph’s relationship to his eleven brothers had grown so rotten that they faked his death and sold him into slavery. Have you ever done that to someone you disliked? Probably not! But here is the point: Joseph possessed a critical and arrogant spirit which infected his relationships with his family and that may be part of your problem.  Before God could use Joseph to save the embryonic Hebrew family, the Lord pruned from Joseph’s spirit his ugly attitude of pride-driven conceit and criticism.  Remember, Jesus compares God to a gardener, “My Father is the gardener who cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes so that it will bear even more fruit.” (John 15:1-2) To prune the pride from Joe, God had to throw His future hero into a pit and a prison before he came to the palace of Pharaoh.

If you tend to exhibit a critical attitude fueled by arrogance that finds fault in others to elevate yourself, God wants to prune away that self-defeating feature of your personality and replace it with a spirit of encouragement.  To prevent being thrown in God’s pit, you would be wise to repent and join our Gracious Gardener in the process of removing any attitude that does not look like the Spirit of Jesus.

Let me summarize our assignment with a classic poem entitled “Wreckers and Builders” that captures God’s goal for how He wants His children to operate:

As I watched them tear a building down, a gang of men in a busy town,
With a yo-heave-ho, and a lusty yell, they swung a beam and a side wall fell.
I asked the foreman, “Are these men skilled, and the men you’d hire if you wanted to build?”
He gave a laugh and said, “No, indeed, just common labor is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two, what builders have taken years to do.”
I thought to myself as I went my way which of these roles have I tried to play?
Am I a builder who works with care, measuring life by rule and square
Or am I a wrecker who walks to town, content with the labor of tearing down?
O, Lord, let my life and my labors be that which will build for eternity!

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