2. Listen to the sirens.
Anyone who has built a sandcastle knows it’s a bad idea to build on sand. So why did a professional builder place my neighbor’s chimney on a pile of sand, not cement? I can only assume that he thought there would be no consequences—at least not for him.
And isn’t that why all of us shrug off sin? We assume there will be no consequences. We figure no one will ever know. Sometimes we even nod our heads in agreement as God warns against bitterness, dishonesty, adultery, anger, worry, greed, debt, gossip or lust. But then we choose to sin anyway!
Friends, this is a foolish, dangerous way to live! It’s like shrugging off the tornado siren or ignoring the hurricane evacuation. It’s like building a house on the beach, which will crumble under the first splattering of rain.
Jesus didn’t tell a story about a house that avoided the storm; He told about the house that could withstand the storm. We all have a storm headed our way. But not all of us are preparing for it.
Take inventory of your life. Are you ignoring any sirens, hoping the consequences will blow past? Are you behaving in ways that you would agree are wrong? Are you lying to yourself about your sin and its potential consequences? How will you humble yourself and align your lifestyle with God’s standards?
3. Consider the cost of collapse.
I wonder how much the builder saved by not adding a foundation under that chimney. I have no idea, but I’m guessing it was a small fraction of the cost to rebuild a new one.
Yes, maintaining integrity is expensive. Doing what is right, even when no one’s looking, will cost you something on a daily, moment by moment basis. But collapse is expensive, too.
In the story of the two houses, the one built on sand gave way to the storm. Jesus said, “It fell, and great was the fall of it.” We’ve all experienced the great thud of a marriage coming to ruin or the creaking of a church torn by deceit or the sharp cracking of a friendship destroyed by betrayal. The devastation and heartache that follow are costly to everyone impacted.
Yes, it costs us something every time we align ourselves with what God says is right and good. But the collapsed ruin of a life with no foundation is far costlier in the end.
How can you build a foundation of integrity? What are some ways that you will safeguard your life by doing what you know is right?
Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out (Prov. 10:9).
This article originally appeared here.