Monday, March 7, 2016

Be A Builder Upper

Year 4-Day 67: Today, I am grateful we can choose to be builder uppers.

"She builds others up because she knows what it is like to be torn down."

Years ago, on Sunday morning, I offered the children song requests. I will never forget the sweet, blonde and blue eyed boy named Andy who wanted to sing "Bob the Builder". This was not in my song book...and I am not great playing by ear...but we tried.  Do you remember it?

"Bob and the gang have so much fun
Working together, they get the job done
Bob the builder
Can we fix it?
Bob the builder
Yes, we can!"

Usually- I would redirect to one of our children's, but his heart was so determined and then I though about the great message of working together. In his child's heart, it was a perfect Sunday school song. So...I let the little child lead us.  

We spend our days making choices about building others up or tearing them down.  Now, building on a foundation false praise is unwise and it will crumble over time. There is a kind of critiquing that builds others up...when seasoned with love. Everyone has gifts and strengths...even if they do not use them with good choices. 

We all have room for improvement but negative voices leave terrible scars on our souls. How we use our words on others can build them up or tear them down.  How can we direct with encouragement. 

Scripting is popular because it gives us a place to start. 

"Great job!  The only thing separating you from the pros is...."

"Your work reflects your efforts. Time and practice is going to make you unstoppable."

"Your work ethic is impressive. Do not be discouraged by what you see as imperfect. This is good and will get better with your continued efforts."

"I admire your energy. As you build your organizational skills, you will be able to accomplish so much more."

"I love your tenacity. (Always build vocabulary when you can.) This was hard and you pressed on and didn't quit. That shows character."

"Do not be discouraged that it isn't your best work. Tell me what you have learned. To master any art or craft takes time and tons of practice." 

A few years back, I had a sweet girl cross my path who has limited resources where she was surrounded by others with abundance.  She was only in our community for a short time, but I think of her often. She was able to take a wardrobe I am fairly sure was at least partially from garage sales and consignment shops and turn it into her own kind of fabulous.  She carried it off with confidence and grace beyond her years. She had a vision... and someone building her up. I look for her to author a book or design clothes someday.May God place a special blessing on the step-parents who forget about the "step" and just love a child in their care. Building others up can have a lasting impact on a life.

In Nehemiah 2:17-18 - Nehemiah has answered God's call to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. The king has offered to support him and the work. Nehemiah went from being the important confidante and "cup bearer to the king"...  to "general construction manager" for a people who didn't really want to do the work to build the wall. He took a demotion and people didn't always like or respect his calling.  

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.  

Then in Nehemiah favorite...he refused to be discouraged.  He let the Lord be his ultimate encourager and he encouraged others. Some wanted to murder him, mostly out of jealousy. He did not lose focus."And I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down. Why should the work stop while I leave it and come down to you?” He pressed on and kept building up. It saved his life...literally.

We never know the life that may be impacted by a small effort to build up another soul.

Today, I am grateful we can choose to be builder uppers.

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