On October 24, 1998, there occurred a very sad event in the history of Detroit. On this day, the J.L. Hudson’s department store demolished. This landmark of downtown Detroit was, at one time, the second largest department store building in the nation.
The Hudson’s building was prepared for demolition by experts who knew what they were doing. In a matter of seconds, the building came tumbling down. The demolition experts had done their work.
In the spiritual realm, there are also demolition experts. These people have a talent to harm other believers and churches. They may do their work with a spiritual veneer, like the Pharisees did in the time of Jesus. They may have a goal of “doing what is good”. They may be sincere or “mean well”. Whether intentional or not, these demolition experts cause broken lives and churches.
We may not think that we are a demolition expert, but there is a demolition expert in all of us. We have all caused harm to an individual or to a church fellowship. What are some of the qualifications of being a spiritual demolition expert?
One of the first qualifications of a demolition expert is pride. Pride causes us to feel superior to others. Because we are better than others, we have every right to condemn them and put them in their place. Pride means that we are never open to correction, but we are always open to correct others. It also causes us to love self instead of loving others. We see this in the life of Saul when he became jealous of the acclaim that David received. Saul’s pride caused his death, the downfall of his family, harm to the Kingdom of Israel, and great grief to the life of David.
Another qualification of a spiritual demolition expert is an uncontrolled tongue. This person’s tongue can destroy a person or a church in various ways. They can speak words of slander about others. They also can create divisions among people through gossip. Angry words have also destroyed people and churches. These people are experts at welding their tongue to bring harm to many with whom they come into contact. James warned us of the danger of the tongue when he wrote: “And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell.” (James 3:6)
A third qualification of a spiritual demolition expert is the “Holy Spirit Syndrome”. This individual feels like they have the answer for everybody’s situation. They know what others need to do and how they should do it. This doesn’t seem to bring harm to others. However, the person with this syndrome keeps others from developing their own personal walk with the Lord. Instead of looking to the Word of God or to the Holy Spirit for guidance and direction, many people look to the person who has become “their holy spirit”.
A fourth qualification of a spiritual demolition expert is a person who lives their lives to please themselves. This person hurts others because they don’t see the importance of their example. They may say: “I don’t care what other people think. It is my life.!” This person leads others down the path of sin, rebellion and destruction. They have forgotten what Paul said: “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (1 Corinthians 6:20)
God has not called us to be demolition experts. He has called us to be builders. “Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.” (Ephesians 4:11) A builder shows care, concern and sacrifice in producing a building. We need to have this same concern and love for individuals as well as for the Body of Christ.
Let’s take a quick look at a few qualifications of spiritual builders.
- They have a love for the Lord and others.
- They have a humble spirit.
- They use their tongue to build up others.
- They encourage others to develop their own walk with the Lord.
- They are sensitive to the needs of others.
“Dear Lord, I know that I have hurt others in my life, and that I need to forsake the qualifications of a spiritual demolition expert. Help me, to have a ministry of building up others through my love, words and actions. Thank you for the people you have used in my life to build me up spiritually. Truly, you have blessed me with many spiritual builders. Amen”