Jim Burns Homeword Daily Devotional for Parenting and Christian Family

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HomeWord - Sept. 14, 2007

What Business are You in - Construction or Demolition? 
This devotional was written by Jim Liebelt

Those who love to talk will experience the consequences, for the tongue can kill or nourish life.—Proverbs 18:21 NLT

Recently, I saw the video of an old stadium somewhere being demolished. It was the kind of demolition where a team of experts strategically place explosives and set them off in a quick series of explosions. The stadium collapses on itself in a matter of seconds. I’m sure you’ve seen video of buildings being destroyed in this way. It is pretty amazing that it takes only a moment to destroy what took months or years to plan and build.

These video scenes reminded me that people’s words have the ability to build or destroy. By the use of our words we can either be in the “construction” or “demolition” business. With our words, we can build up other people over a lifetime. Or, in a moment – using strategically placed verbal explosions – we can destroy others.

My wife works in a high-rise building in downtown Seattle called the Washington Mutual Tower. Some high-rise buildings are rather plain and unimpressive. Not this building. When I look at that building, I think about the careful planning that went into the design and how it took the patient and hard work of human hands to create one of the most recognizable buildings of the Seattle skyline. Although I’m not an expert on building architecture, I have to say this building is beautiful.

Obviously, God calls His people to be in the “construction” business. With careful planning, patience and intentional hard work, each of us has the opportunity through our words to encourage and build up others so that they can fulfill the potential of becoming all that God has designed them to be. The result is a person of inner quality and beauty.

So, which business are you in: construction or demolition? The words you use with others will reflect your choice.

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1. Think of a person in your life who is in need of building up by your encouragement. Commit to speaking with this person in the next few days.

2. Do you have any relationships that have suffered because of your words? If so, what actions can you take to repair any damage your words have done?


Matthew 12:36-37; James 3:2-12; Proverbs 15:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Encouraging Parents…Building Families

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