bENCOURAGEd to: Expect a Cold Toilet

Updated: Jun 5, 2019

Tuesday's Tip to bENCOURAGEd...

Excellence should be expected even when it comes to home repairs. Years ago we bought a very modest sized town home. We purchased the model home, because it had many extra benefits - crown molding, wood flooring, beautiful tile work, a peaceful view of the woods, and four bathrooms! What? Yes four bathrooms in a town home! We were able to buy it at a great price. We were pleased with our new home and even though it was smaller than our previous home we were excited to have a guest room with its own bathroom, so our family could come visit.

Several months went by before our family came to stay and this is when we discovered a problem with our home. When one of our family members flushed the guest toilet very hot water came rushing into the bowl. That’s right, the water in the toilet was hot water! Talk about a “hot seat”! I called the builder who sent their maintenance supervisor to investigate. This supervisor was not the person who had overseen the original build and with little inspection he shared a very important truth. The pipes going to that bathroom had been reversed causing the toilet to receive hot water and the sink to receive only cold water. The supervisor was shocked and somewhat embarrassed that the company he worked for would have made such an amateur mistake. He said that it looked as if they were in a hurry to get the model completed and that the crew installed the pipes too quickly - forgoing professional checklists. Thankfully this supervisor was full of integrity and brought his own crew back in to reconstruct our pipes with no cost to us.

This experience came to my memory as I was reading a book in the Bible. In Ezekiel there is a story about God’s people building a wall. The builders took a shortcut by using untempered mortar, mortar that was improperly mixed.

“Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, “Peace!”

when there is no peace-and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with untempered

mortar- say to those who plaster it with untempered mortar, that it will fall.

There will be flooding rain, and you , O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy

wind shall tear it down.”

(Ezek. 13:10-11 NKJV)

This passage intrigued me to better understand the difference between untempered and tempered mortar. I learned that when mortar is not properly mixed that the ingredients pull away from each other causing the substance to crumble. It is implied that these builders knew better. They had been “seduced” into thinking shortcuts are okay. Seduced by whom? By leaders who told them to rest because their work was complete.

I looked up the Greek word for peace in this verse which is Shalowm or Shalom - defined as: completeness, soundness, welfare - peace*. These leaders told the builders that their work was complete - like a pat on the back - a signing off on their job. But the work was not completed with excellence. There is no peace when mortar falls off a building and likewise there is no peace when you flush a toilet and scolding water sprays down.

In both cases those leaders signed off on a job that was not done well. God knows that when we cut corners our bad work has bad consequences. Even more, when a leader encourages bad work it multiplies bad consequences. God is not about perfection, but He is about doing excellent work with excellent encouragement. From plaster to toilets to any kind of work that we do we must encourage excellent work -this will help us bENCOURAGEd Today, so that we can encourage others.


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