Those three little pigs used straw, sticks, and bricks to build their houses.
The straw and sticks didn’t last long when the wolf came along. The little pigs who built their houses of straw and sticks found refuge in the house of bricks with the third little pig.
It was the house of bricks that kept the three little pigs safe. Inside that house, the huffing and puffing of the wolf could not affect them or the house.
Bricks are sturdy. They provide protection and shelter. Yet, if some of the bricks are removed in order to bash at others, the house is less stable. Those bricks will do damage when they are used for bashing instead of building.
We’ve seen a lot of this lately.
Where a haven and safety could be provided by building with bricks, there is bashing instead. When a child is lost at the zoo or toddlers drown in a pool, we all have the answers for what should have been done or how a parent was negligent, even though we weren’t even there. We pick up our bricks and throw them from a distance because it’s easy to do – and safe when we’re not looking the parents in the eye.
In the national turmoil we are facing, it’s so easy to throw bricks and bash instead of pray. Whether it’s the political scene or the racial scene, we all have the answers, so we continue to throw our bricks. We can discuss the wrongs of those caught in the fray of anger, racial issues, politics, and strife. We think we know what should happen and how it should be done.
What a shame that we, as Christians, don’t recognize that we’re often guilty of the same.
Oh, we’d never be that overt. We’re not that brazen! We’d never be like the big bad wolf who huffed and puffed for all the world to see and hear. We’d never stand across the line and hurtle bricks with full force at the opposite side. We do our bashing when few folks are watching or are around.
We’re more subtle. We’re much more clever! Our bashing is done undercover. We say things and do things that undermine an accomplishment or achievement. Many times we’re so clever that the only person who “gets” the bash is the one for whom it is intended.
Most Christians would deny using bricks to bash, yet it happens all the time. Those small jabs we make? We don’t consider those bashing, but they are.
When someone is congratulated for an accomplishment, is it easier to join the congratulations or to find a small area in which we can make a jab? When someone has an opportunity to experience something new – whether it’s a new job, promotion, or a travel experience, do we find ourselves applauding (building) or bashing?
When there’s an engagement, wedding, pregnancy, or graduation, do we join in the celebrations wholeheartedly or find a way to make a small jab just to bring the accomplishment down a peg or two? When there’s a promotion, a new opportunity, a new friend for a friend, do we cheer and applaud or use our unspoken resentment or jealousy to bash instead of build? When a brick is hurled, whether it’s with a lot of power or a small amount, it’s still tearing down instead of building, and it’s still bashing.
What makes us want to find a loophole to avoid laying a brick to help build? How is it that we can be so selfish, so human, so not-like-Jesus that we use mortar and pestle to tear down rather than to build?
Brick upon brick, we can help the church of Jesus and be a haven for those who are yearning for safety. Or, we can continue to bash and tear down, sending those hoping for safety away from us.
The third little pig built a solid house of bricks and used that house to provide safety from the big bad wolf, not only for himself but for his brothers as well.
All the huffing and puffing of the big, bad wolf couldn’t bring the house down.
Are you a builder or a basher?
If we belong to Jesus, we must choose to be a builder.