Two profiles of Christian leaders are spotlighted, center-stage in this tale. Both would call themselves servants of God.
One is a giant—in every imaginable way, a joyful, godly, spiritual giant of encouragement and mentorship—a builder. He has spent his life building. He builds everybody he comes into contact with. He loves, he gives, he encourages, he admonishes, he reproves, he exhorts, he emmulates and embodies the very spirit of Christ in a very joyful and practical way. He inspires others to live faithfully. He encourages them to serve Christ. He challenges them to remain faithful to God’s Word. He does it all with a smile, a warm heart, and a genuine love for Jesus and for people. His life is a vibrant testimony of the presence of the Holy Spirit and the likeness of Christ.
The older this builder grows, the more he is respected, honored, and the greater his influence becomes. He is a magnet drawing people into ministry for Christ. Everywhere he goes he attracts people to the Saviour. All over the world, people are serving the Saviour because of this builder. All over the world, people have been mentored, encouraged, helped, nurtured, and influenced by this treasure! He truly is a builder. He has built people. He has built the cause of Christ. He has built a life time of faithful and honorable service to Christ. And he is truly great.
The other leader stands in stark contrast to the builder. He is a destroyer. He is contentious, and thrives on dividing, discouraging, and disparaging other Christian brothers. He has chosen to give his days in ministry to the sole function of inspecting others, finding fault, and magnifying it—the sole act of attacking other Christians.
Forgetting the power and providence of God, he has unethically slandered and hurt faithful Christians. Blind to his own pride, he has divided churches, attacked pastors, and acted with disregard toward many clear biblical principles. To discerning Christians, the carnal behavior of the destroyer is repulsive. He is a sower of discord—a man who claims to believe God’s Word, but directly dishonors it.
Unlike the builder, this man repels young servants of Christ. He discourages them. He dissuades them. He causes them to desire complete disassociation with his spirit and kind. Thus, with every misguided attack, his influence diminishes and the cause of Christ is damaged.
The builder and the destroyer stand in stark contrast to one another.
The builder will pass along a heritage, a legacy. He will end his life having invested into “gold, silver, and precious stones.” The destroyer will leave a trail of pain, hurt, and destruction. He will end his life regretting the “wood, hay, and stubble.”
So, you and I have a choice—today. Will you be a builder or a destroyer?
Will you be an encourager, a Christ-like lover of people, a believer in the next generation of spiritual leaders? Will you inspire and equip those coming behind you in life and ministry?
Or will you be a destroyer? Will you choose to take God’s commands about “reproof” and “contending for the faith” out of scriptural context and use them again fellow soldiers for carnal reasons?
Will you lift up yourself by hurting others or will you lift up Christ by building others?
A man recently said to me on the phone—”I’m trying to get out of the business of hurting people.” This was an interesting statement coming from a pastor who is called to be a shepherd.
Personally, I renounce dishonesty, craftiness, and the mishandling of God’s Word by destroyers. And I choose to embrace a life like the builder. I want to do everything I can to build others and pass on the heritage of my faith to the next generation of leaders who love Jesus.
Think about it for a moment:
- Builders love people. Destroyers hurt people.
- Builders draw people to Christ. Destroyers repel people from Him.
- Builders are joyful and humble. Destroyers are arrogant and contentious.
- Builders believe in others. Destroyers are skeptical of others.
- Builders inspire people. Destroyers attack people.
- Builders strengthen the next generation. Destroyers weaken them.
- Builders love truth. Destroyers love the distortion of it.
- Builders are spiritual. Destroyers are carnal.
- Builders leave a legacy. Destroyers leave a stench.
- Builders—gold, silver, precious stones. Destroyers—wood, hay, stubble.
- Builders—like Jesus. Destroyers—most unlike Jesus.
- Builders leave a heritage of faith. Destroyers leave a trail of hurt.
And one day, BOTH the builder and the destroyer will stand before Jesus and answer for how they stewarded their lives and influence.
So, choose wisely—today, and for the rest of your life. Be a builder. Be an encourager. Be a lover of people and a disciple-making mentor. May the ranks of the builders grow exponentially for God’s glory.
And most certainly, the ranks of the destroyers will diminish—for they are very good at devouring their own.
“But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.” 1 Corinthians 11:16
“For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another. This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:14-16