Tearing down and building up

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… a time to tear down and a time to build… He has made everything beautiful in its time. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-11

It’s okay to tear down. It’s not particularly fun when it’s something you built. In fact, it’s usually humiliating. But when the behavior, relationship, career, lifestyle, etc. has been assembled on a foundation that is not firm, that is not steady, there comes a time to tear down if you ever want the chance of stability on something that will weather all storms. 

It hurts to tear down. It may feel confusing and may lead to misunderstanding by the people around you, but feelings can’t be our guide. Hurt doesn’t mean that what you’re doing is wrong. 

“So you like to feel hurt?” someone asked me once. No, I surely don’t. But the same way I am willing to tear muscles in my body, to be sore and uncomfortable for days after a workout because I know that the muscle will rebuild and make my body stronger, so am I willing to tear down things in my life when it’s necessary to rebuild for something sturdy. 

It may be humiliating, it may be painful, but it will be worth it. So worth it.

We will not be left disappointed when we work with the master Creator himself. He takes what’s broken and makes something new.

This whole world – made and declared good, yet only a short time later, broken, infected by the disease of sin with only one option for cure.

Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days,” (John 2:18-19).

But nobody understood what he was talking about. Hanging on the cross, exposed and beaten, they ridiculed him, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself!” (Matthew 27:40), when ironically he wasn’t even the one who needed saving. 

He stood in our place, making right what we had made wrong, That we might become the righteousness of God. That we might be built up, that we might become a temple of His very Spirit. 

For me, I think one of the hardest things about tearing down is the way that things can be so misunderstood by others. But Jesus was misunderstood. And the misunderstanding was entirely necessary – because it got him to the cross. The most broken of all places, and yet the only spot that would allow for healing and building in souls of those he cares most about. Me. You. His people.  

When we stay close to Him, we can have full assurance that what’s torn down won’t stay down. God is not a God who leaves things undone. He is a God who makes things beautiful.


But the temple he had spoken of was his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples recalled what he had said. – John 2:21-22

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? – 1 Corinthians 6:19

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away… And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them.” – Revelation 21:1-3


Read: John 2:13-20, Matthew 27:41-54
Luke 6:46-49
2 Corinthians 5:17

What has Jesus accomplished? How has it affected your life? How does his finished work on the cross give you hope for the brokenness you see around you?

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