It’s a truism that it’s easier to destroy than to create.
I saw this in action recently in my own neighbourhood.
A two-storey house had been damaged internally by fire, although it looked salvageable from the outside. Nonetheless, the owners and insurers agreed that it should be demolished and a new house built in its stead.
I imagine the original house had taken months to build. It probably involved scores of people in its construction: contractors, carpenters, bricklayers, roofers, electricians, plumbers, and the like.
But it only took one man with one large backhoe a few hours to raze that building to the ground.
It was shocking how quickly the structure was destroyed. What could have lasted for decades was levelled in the space of a morning.
A cautionary tale, don’t you think?
If we’re not careful, we can see the same thing happen in our own lives.
One lapse of ethics in your career can send the whole thing crashing down.
Your career might have taken you decades to build, but engaging in a questionable business practice can lose you the trust and respect of those you deal with. What you painstakingly built can topple overnight like a house of cards.
One moral indiscretion can cost you your marriage. A sinful liaison that only lasts an hour can destroy what you and your spouse took thirty years to build.
Some ill-considered gossipy comments can taint the good reputation you’ve built among your long-time friends. It may take quite some time before they’ll confide in you again.
And a simple “Sorry!” isn’t going to suddenly make everything right again. The sad thing is that rebuilding the trust you forfeited can take years, whether it’s in your professional or personal world.
So how do we avoid falling into these traps in the first place?
Jesus gave some advice to His disciples at the Garden of Gethsemane. He told them:
“Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” (Matthew 26:41)
Two main action verbs: Watch and pray.
We need to keep watch over our actions and attitudes, ensuring that they align with what the Bible teaches. Steep yourself in Scripture so that any deviation from its instructions will ring alarm bells in your conscience.
We also need to be in a constant attitude of prayer. Pray over every decision, big or small. Make sure that you get the go-ahead from God before making major changes in your life. Even in small things, pray that you’re reflecting His love to others.
If we remain alert to the possible repercussions of our actions, humbly recognize how easily we can fall into sin, and stay dependant on our Heavenly Father through prayer, we can avoid some of the pitfalls of temptation.
It’s not easy to stay vigilant and prayerful, but it’s a lot easier than trying to rebuild a life that was devastated by sinful behaviour.
My neighbours are now starting to build a new house where the fire-damaged one once stood. This structure may take months to construct, but I hope it will last for the rest of their lives.
I pray that if you’re rebuilding a career or relationship levelled by sin, God will come alongside you with forgiveness and grace and help you create a renewed structure that can withstand any storm.
The key is having Jesus as your foundation.
© 2021 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.