Being constructive works changes in any relationship. Whether you struggle with your employer, spouse, pastor, friend, sibling, co-worker, or neighbor, you can love by being constructive. Even if you are not a believer, even if you think following the Bible is for the weak, you can follow this principle and see the change it produces.
When I am frustrated, hurt, or bewildered with someone, there is one thing I try to do. It’s not one of my favorite things to do, mind you. Yet, when I do this, I find light at the end of the tunnel. I also find release from my dark emotions.
I don’t do this because it’s easy in the moment, but because it’s the right thing to do. How do I know it’s the right thing? Because the Love Chapter says so.
This nugget in 1 Corinthians 13 tells us that true love is slow to lose patience and looks for a way of being constructive. I know this works – and believe me, I also know it is not easy.
Looking for a way
When I choose to love, it is a choice that I make. I “will” myself to love. One of the ways I do this is I look for a way to be constructive. It’s not always right in front of my face. Sometimes I have to diligently and deliberately look for a way to be constructive. To be constructive is to “serve a useful purpose or tend to build up.”
How do we build someone or something up? This is something constructive. We choose to build instead of tear down. It does not mean we are untruthful or that we ignore what is incorrect. We simply choose to build instead of tear down because we can and because we should.
Suggestions for being constructive
Here are some ways I have found to build up when I could tear down.
- Pray. It’s hard to remain an enemy when we sincerely pray for that person.
- Compliment or commend. Find a way to express gratitude, appreciation, or simply thank someone for something positive.
- Do something for that person. You’ll find a way if you’re sincere. I’ve made bread and given it to someone. I’ve written notes of appreciation. Be positive in front of others toward this unlikeable person.
- Forgive. Keep the grudge at bay. If you don’t, you’ll become bitter.
- Shut up. Do not pass your grudge on to others – whether it’s your spouse, your kids, neighbors, co-workers, or friends.
A final word on being constructive
When we do not choose to build up, we find ourselves tearing down. You can’t do both.You're either demolishing and destroying or building constructively Click To Tweet You get to choose which it will be. When you truly want to love someone, begin by being constructive. Guaranteed, all the other descriptions of love in that I Corinthians 13 will fall into place.
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