I watched them tearing a building down,
A gang of men in a busy town.
With a ho-heave-ho and a lusty yell,
They swung a beam and the side wall fell.
I asked the foreman: “Are these men skilled,
And the men you’d hire if you had to build?”
He gave a laugh and said: “No indeed!
Just common labor is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken a year to do.”
I thought to myself as I went my way;
Am I a builder who works with care?
Which of these roles have I tried to play?
Measuring life by the rule and square,
Am I shaping my deeds to a well-made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker, who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?
Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for building up according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.