Together in Christ: 'Build Up or Tear Down' — Proverbs 14:1

Friday, June 16, 2023

The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.
— Proverbs 14:1 NLT

Key Thought

This proverb explicitly mentions a woman, but the principle is universal. We have the power to bless or curse, help or harm, build up or tear down. The hard reality in relationships is that building up, blessing, and helping all require ongoing, consistent effort. Destroying a relationship can happen in an instant. A reckless word, a foolish choice, or a careless incident can wreak havoc in our homes and close relationships.

How do we keep the occasional stumble from destroying our relationships and homes?

We vigilantly yield our hearts to the Lordship of Jesus and choose to speak and live with gentleness and respect toward those around us. [1] This yielding has to be a daily occurrence.

We build up a legacy of goodwill because our character is known, shown, and trusted in how we treat each other. Our lives testify that we submit our wants and desires to the needs of the significant people in our lives. [2] This way, when we are misunderstood, or we have done something wrong, there is a foundation of love and respect that folks can have to know our true character.

When we blow it, mess up, stumble, or dishonor people we love, we confess our sin. [3] We don't try to cover it up, deny it, explain it away, justify it, or avoid it. We own it. We grieve because of it. We turn from it and return to the righteous character we need in every relationship.

Wise people purposely build their lives, families, and homes through kind acts of self-sacrificial service to bless others. They resist foolish sins, juicy gossip, and vindictive responses so they can live to honor Jesus as Lord and be a blessing to those they love. Without the help of the Holy Spirit, being a JesuShaped person who lives to bless, encourage, build up, and redeem is more than hard. It is impossible. [4] But with our daily commitment, God's help, Jesus' example, and the power of the Holy Spirit, all things are possible! [5]

[1] 1 Peter 3:15-16;.
[2] Ephesians 5:21; Philippians 2:4.
[3] James 5:16-20.
[4] 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Galatians 5:22-23
[5] Mark 10:27; Ephesians 3:14-21.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, I need Your guidance and strength. Please empower me through the Holy Spirit's presence within me. I want to live a consistently good, loving, faithful, and righteous life with my family. I want my actions to build up those around me. I want to leave a legacy of gentleness, and respect demonstrated toward my family members. Guard me against sin, especially any sin that might injure a loved one or damage my relationship with any of them. I need Your strength, O God, and Your character, Lord Jesus, so I can be a loving source of encouragement and support to those I love. In Jesus' name, I ask for this power and grace. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Philippians 2:1-11
  • Ephesians 5:21-6:4


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Illustration of Proverbs 14:1 NLT — The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.