Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.”
In my NIV Bible, the heading for this portion of scripture is “The Wise and Foolish Builders”. How we respond to the words of Jesus determines the foundation of the house we build. It’s a major league choice that we have because the alternatives are rock or sand. The structures built upon rock survive the storms and floods while those built upon sand don’t.
Yesterday I used the Three Little Pigs children’s story as an illustration of foolish choices and misplaced trust. The first two little pigs were more interested in playing than working and took the shortcuts that enabled them to play. They didn’t consider the consequences of their decisions until it was too late. In terms of today’s scripture, they were the foolish builders. Their homes built of straw or sticks are the equivalent of building them upon the sand.
The third little pig built correctly. He was the wise builder and his home of bricks is the equivalent of building upon a rock foundation. It not only withstands the storm and wind (huffing and puffing), but it withstands the floods as well. When the foundation of a house goes – the house goes with it. The issue is to be able to withstand whatever comes.
Such a simple story yet it’s significance is profound: doing things the right way leads to good results, while doing them the wrong way leads to catastrophic results. The obvious question then is how do we determine what the right way is? Or more accurately, what are the right ways?
Every area of life is affected: how we live, work, raise our children, relate to others, treat our spouse, respond to our parents – to authority, to responsibility – it goes on and on. There are so many ‘voices’ saying, “This is the way.” – and so many of them lead to building upon sand – houses of straw or sticks.
How do we recognize the wise from the foolish? Jesus makes it clear that the answer is hearing His words AND putting them into practice. His words aren’t suggestions where we can pick and choose. Nor do we have the option of not becoming familiar with what they are – our lives are to embrace them. We are to become so a part of them that they are engraved upon our lives. Let us set our hearts upon becoming wise builders so that every area of our lives will glorify our Lord.