When we lived in Southern California, one of our acquaintances built a new home overlooking the valley below and most of the City of Glendale. Like many of the hillside structures, he thought the foundation was strong, but in a very short period of time, the fires nearby and the tremendous rains that followed eroded the supports and the beautiful house slid down the hillside.

Jesus taught the crowds who came to hear his sermon on the mountain that a house built on sand would not withstand the elements which could destroy it. But, if a house is built on a solid foundation, like rock, it could survive the storms that assailed it.

Building on the rock is where grounded foundations survive. Of course, Jesus was talking about building a life on the most secure foundation you can.

The building materials for a successful life are clearly written in the Scripture. The pattern begins with trusting God’s word and plans for your living. A rock-solid relationship with Christ is the foundation we need. It is clear that the blessing of God is not something we make or earn but a gift of grace from the Divine hand.

The Psalmist said, “Blessed is the man whose sin is covered.” Forgiveness is the ultimate ground of happiness and direction in life. Too many of us want an external appearance in what we accomplish, but when the tests of life batter away, our foundations crumble. Grounding our faith in the eternal God protects us from our toughest moments we must experience to mature.

A story of a wealthy king who had a faithful servant illustrates how we often deceive ourselves and fail to build our lives on integrity. When the king called his aging builder to his palace, he showed him a hillside where the sun shone beautifully each morning. The king commissioned the builder to design and build a house on that hillside. As the builder thought of all the things he had done for the king and knew this would probably be his last project, he decided to build the house with materials that would appear sturdy and attractive, but would not last long. So, he completed the task and returned to the palace. As he stood beside the king, he said, “Your majesty, this is a beautiful house, and I want you to come and see it.” But the king stopped him and said, “You have built several places for me, including this palace. I am not going to live in that house — I am giving it to you as a gift. Live there in your final years and enjoy it.” The builder left the palace, realizing he had carefully cheated himself by constructing an inferior home.

Over the years I have met a number of people who surrounded themselves with the trappings of beauty and success, but underneath the foundations of their lives were rotting away. Dishonesty is the sand where foundations sink into destruction. Integrity is the solid rock on which to build a life. Are you building on a strong foundation or cheating yourself out of the best of living? Your answer determines your destiny!

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Dr. James E. Kilgore retired as President of the International Family Foundation and lives in Canton. His most recent book, “Living Without Limits,” was published in late 2019 and is available at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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