Posted by Josh Whitney on

Starting a quarrel is like breaching a dam; so drop the matter before a dispute breaks out. - Proverbs 17:14 NIV

Have you ever thought about how easy it is to destroy something compared to creating it? I was reminded of this during a recent house project. We decided to replace our old, wooden patio stairs as part of a backyard project. The stairs were about ten years old and the bottom boards were starting to rot. One evening I decided to demo them. I took a circular saw, pry bar, and hammer; I destroyed and removed the old stairs in about one hour! After I finished my demolition work, I was struck by how quickly I was able to do that. 

Fast forward a month. I started the rebuild of the stairs. Between watching instructional videos, talking to people who had built stairs, designing them, and buying supplies, I easily put in five hours before I even started. Then during the actual construction, between the multiple trips to the hardware store, measuring and cutting boards, and building and finishing, it took me approximately twelve more hours!

All told, what I had destroyed in one hour took me about 17 hours to rebuild. That’s what Proverbs 17:14 above is about! Watch some videos on breaching a dam—it is incredibly destructive! This verse warns us that starting a quarrel can be that damaging. A friendship that takes a long time to build can be quickly damaged during a fight.

But this is bigger than quarrels. A godly, healthy marriage takes years to build. Yet it can be destroyed quickly with sinful choices. Or take our reputation. Again, years to create a solid one, but it can be destroyed with just a few poor choices. Your dignity, your job—the list goes on and on. These are things that take years to build and can quickly be demolished through a few sinful actions. Be sober about sin—it matters.

Submitted by:
Josh Whitney
The Rock Church
Draper, Utah

One-Year Bible Reading
Exodus 32:1-33:23
Matthew 26:69-27:14
Psalm 33:1-11
Proverbs 8:33-36


to leave comment