Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. (1 Thess. 5:11)

IT CAN BE RATHER DIFFICULT in our area to get a building permit. There are engineering reports and impact studies, as well as codes and conditions that must be gathered, submitted, followed, and inspected. Even then, it seems there is always some reason for not giving a permit to improve an existing structure or to build something new. However, it is not so hard to tear something down. Demolition is easier than construction.

The same is true in our relationships with other people. It seems easier to tear down people than to build them up. Criticism comes easier than encouragement. The buffalo don’t roam, and the deer and the antelope don’t play much around our parts. If only all of us could live in the land “where seldom is heard a discouraging word, and the skies are not cloudy all day.” There is too much discouragement in our world.

We don’t live in a world that by nature builds up people, so our spiritual mandate is to encourage one another and find ways to build up each other. The Lord has given us a blueprint and a permit to do just that. Someday the Building Inspector will show up without warning to see if we have followed the code and been constructive in our relationships. Better get busy building!

Find those who are discouraged, and invest the time it takes to build them up.

Ken Heer was the author of Ancient Fire (WPH), pastor, and community director. He passed away prior to this publication.