Builder vs. Bulldozer

When I taught PE there was a game I would play with my younger students called "Builders and Bulldozers."  I would set up cones around the gym and would assign half the class as "builders" and the other half as "bulldozers."  The bulldozers would knock over the cones and the builders would stand them all back up.  I would challenge my students having them use different body parts to build or knock down the cones.  For example, the builders would only be allowed to build with their feet and bulldozers could only knock down the cones with their elbows.  A simple game that the kids loved!

I realized the other day this is a game people play every day.  Yet instead of building up or knocking down cones, we use people.  And instead of using body parts, we use our words.

A question I have for each of us is...

Am I am builder or a bulldozer with my words?

Do our words lift others up to be a better expression of themselves, or tear them down?

Think about your words towards...

- your spouse

- your children

- your parents

- your siblings

- your family

- your friends

- your co-workers

- your employer/employees

- people who you cross your path throughout the day (cashier, mailman, custodian, store manager, etc.)

If your words are not helping others grow into a better expression of themselves recognize that.  Most of the time words flow out of our mouths before we fully processed what we are saying.

I encourage you today to...

Pause. Breathe. Pray.

Be quick to listen and slow to speak.  And when you speak, choose words that will encourage others to be a better expression of themselves.  And as the old saying goes, "if you don't have something nice to say, don't say anything at all."

I'll leave you with these lyrics.  I find songs play in my head regularly and listening to lyrics like these are a great reminder of my hope to be a builder and not a bulldozer.

Words can build you up
Words can break you down
Start a fire in your heart
Or put it out

Let my words be life
Let my words be truth
I don’t want to say a word
Unless it points the world back to *LOVE*
— Hawk Nelson from song "Words" on the album Made *I changed you to love*

Be well,

Shawn