In the time of the minor prophet Haggai, Judah had just come back from captivity in Babylon and the temple was in ruins. Nebuchadnezzar II had destroyed the temple at the siege of Jerusalem and it was time for it to be rebuilt.
The temple was important because it was the dwelling place for God. But when Judah returned to Jerusalem where the temple was, they spent 16 years running around and doing their own things. They started the project, but got discouraged and made excuses for not building it, and turned their focus on building their own homes with luxury (Haggai 1:1-2). There wasn’t much time left over for building the temple, and it was neglected by the people of God.
God tried to get Judah’s attention, and He allowed their lives to become difficult because of their indifference towards building the temple. And when the people didn’t understand why, He said His famous line: "Consider your ways!" (Haggai 1:6-11).
He moved the leaders of Judah and the people to work hard again on building the House of God. He encouraged and exhorted them, saying not to worry of the beauty of the restored temple compared to the original one built in Solomon’s time—but rather to "be strong, all you people of the land and work; for I am with you" (Haggai 2:4). If they would get busy and build the Temple, God would bless their efforts, and the Temple would become beautiful because of His presence, glory and Spirit that filled it (Haggai 2:7).
In 1 Corinthians 3:9 we are told that we are "God’s fellow workers." And "Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are" (1 Corinthians 3:16-17).
We all need to take time to be honest with ourselves and to consider our ways. What areas of your life do you need to build and change by the power and grace of God? What parts of you, the Temple of God, are in ruins or in need of maintenance? Ask God and read His Word. Then start building.