How to Fix Foundation Problems in Your Spiritual Life

Years ago, my grandmother’s 1909 house got a fresh layer of wallpaper. But only weeks later, I noticed in a high corner the wallpaper had buckled, and in some places, it had even split.

Fix Foundation Problems in Your Spiritual Life

(My grandmother’s house, built in 1909)

When I asked her about it she said: “Oh, the house needs foundation work. Every time the seasons change and the wind blows a different direction, the whole house shifts.”

That made sense. For years I shaved inches off most of the doors trying to get them to close. But the repair only lasted until the wind shifted again.

Look closely at the lives of your friends and family. Maybe even your own life.

You’ll see this old house’s problem in vivid display.

Foundation Problems Affect Everything

The choice to fix foundation problems always costs. But so does ignoring them.

When I remember my grandmother’s old house, I remember Jesus’ words:

Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand . . . the winds blew and slammed against that house; and it fell—and great was its fall. —Matthew 7:26–27

Hearing God’s Word, but failing to follow it, is like papering over the cracks of a bad foundation. Sounds silly, but we see it all the time:

  • When one marriage hits the rocks, another follows with little more success.
  • When one obsession or addiction seems conquered, in its place comes one more of equal destruction.
  • Job after job, church after church, relationship after relationship—when the walls of lives get wrinkled or ripped apart, the solution seems simply to paper over the tear with a fresh print and start over.

The problem, of course, lies not in the wallpaper, the walls, or even the wind. These remain but symptoms of the real problem: a poor foundation.

My grandmother's house had to fix foundation problems.

(My grandmother’s house had to fix foundation problems.)

Our Favorite Foundation is Faulty

I’ll never forget the sobering statistic I read from the Barna Group years ago:

The basis of people’s moral and ethical decisions these days is more likely to be feelings and less likely to be the Bible. —Barna Group

The problem here?

God never intended feelings to guide us. Instead, they betray us. (Tweet that.)

  • When the devil tempted the first woman to disobey, the cunning serpent appealed to emotion by discrediting God’s Word (Genesis 3:4-6).
  • When we doubt God’s truth—or simply stay unaware of it—we have nothing left to base our decisions on but emotion and common sense—both inadequate as foundations.

When we make decisions based on any other foundation but God’s Word—not simply morality, but real, biblical truth—we sit at the mercy of any wind’s whim. No marriage will endure, no salary will satisfy, no job, church, or relationship will last.

How can they, when we base them on feelings that constantly shift?

How to Fix Foundation Problems in Your Life

Got some cracks in your spiritual life? In key relationships? Don’t paper over them. Work to fix foundation problems.

If you choose to invest time in the Bible and apply its life-changing truths, you will live like those of whom Jesus spoke:

“Everyone who hears these words of mine, and acts upon them, may be compared to a wise man, who built his house upon the rock. And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and burst against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded upon the rock.”—Matthew 7:24-25

The decision to fix foundation problems always costs. But so does ignoring them.

Question: On what basis do you make your decisions? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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  • JFKAR

    > On what basis do you make your decisions?

    I just do whatever the wife tells me to. She’s usually right, and when she isn’t I don’t get any blame!

    I credit this policy with keeping us together for 32 years (so far).  :-)

    • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

      You’re a wise man.

  • http://twitter.com/chuck_anderson Chuck Anderson

    Thanks Wayne! Great perspective on keeping “feelings” in their proper place! I’ve learned from a mentor to look at it like this…”Today, I will choose to live as if the Bible is true. Regardless of my emotions, circumstances, or cultural trends.”

    • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

      Now THAT is a great piece of advice, Chuck. Thank you. You’re blessed to have such a wise voice in your life. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Rev. Bill Reeves

    Robert Parker’s “Jessie Stone’s” shrink, poses the question, “Why is this so hard?” I think it fits your blog today. Sorting truth and application in the mud of feelings is hard.

    • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

      You’re right, Bill. It isn’t easy. I think that’s why we have to cling to an objective truth when our situation and feelings feel so subjective.

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  • Evangelist john

    This is as hard as it becomes day by day. Not allowing your emotions or circumstances to dictate your decision making process can be tantamount to witch hunt. To simply say I based my decision on the word of truth can be hypocritical of me. To make a claim to cross referencing views with the word of God sounds the best way out but is this the case? When one organises his scale of preference do you consider the ultimate truth which is biblical? The Jews standing for prayers might say he pays his tithes but the poor Tax collector might say Lord have mercy and give me wisdom based upon your word to guide my listing of things in order so I will not act amiss. Basing your decisions upon the word of God is a recipe for joy, success and less frustration for even if it doesn’t go we’ll you might turn round and sigh ok I have done my best but God doesn’t want it this way. May the root of our foundation be grounded in the word of God so we can be sure of our decision making abilities not philosophical ideas based on unfounded biblical truth.

    • http://www.waynestiles.com/ Wayne Stiles

      There’s a lot of truth in what you’re saying, John. Certainly, we can’t always know our motives—even for obeying God’s Word. As Paul wrote: “For I am conscious of nothing against myself, yet I am not by this acquitted; but the one who examines me is the Lord” (1 Cor. 4:4). But even if perfect motives are unrealistic, we are still to strive to discover and follow God’s Word and not our feelings in each case. Thanks for your comments.

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