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Structural Integrity

May 21st, 2009

Focus Passage: Proverbs 14:11 (NLT)

11 The house of the wicked will be destroyed,
      but the tent of the godly will flourish.


Stop Here and Reflect Before Reading Ahead

Life is a series of personal building projects.  Planning.  Moving.  Construction. Not always with bricks or studs, but more so with the plans and pursuits that dominate our thoughts and actions.  We function as the personal contractors for that which will not only be the place of dwelling in our present, but also what will stand as a memorial . . . or as a regretful reminder . . . of the substance of our existence for future reference.

The nails are the daily words.  The things spoken to our friends.  Our family.  The expressions driven in by the hammer of our choices.  When our choices are noble and sound, then the force of them is a positive thing . . . allowing strength to hit and drive our words straight where they should go.  When our swing is crooked, unaimed, and awry in its intention, the nails bend and the integrity of our structure is compromised.

But make no mistake: this structure of ourselves is held together . . . for better or for worse . . . by the words and actions that pour forth from our hearts.  With each passing day, we add more to the big picture.  Some never seem to get past the framing part . . . never getting “dried in” in the process.  It’s always back to the basics.  Raw materials.  Raw emotions.  Raw and self-centered intentions that always seem to drive the nails crookedly and keep the basics from every becoming sturdy enough to move in and live.

Others seem to become more adept at realizing the potential that their hammers have.  Anytime I’ve shared a construction project with a group of people, you can always tell when a younger person is experiencing hammer use for the first time.  Why?  For starters, they rarely grip it properly but instinctively hold it too high on the handle . . . gripping it at a point near the head.  The hammering process is then devoid of its greatest asset: the weight of the head.  What results is a long process of tiny taps.

Then, when an experienced builder takes the hammer, gripping it properly and letting the weight of the head do the work, the nail sinks into it’s destination in one or two seemingly easy whacks . . . much to the amazement of the novice who suddenly realizes the error of their method.

Ah, to posses the self-actualization that allows one to “come to grips” with the error of their building methods.  Only when we learn can we move forward in the  process to create something substantial . . . spiritually, of course.

The stuff we make isn’t nearly as crucial as the stuff we’re made of.  That’s why this passage delineates between two different kinds of structures.  One, a house, would seemingly be the “chinny-chin chin” brick structure of stability that could easily withstand the breezy attack of any old wolfy windbag.  However, this is not the case: The house of the wicked will be destroyed . . . ” 

The house isn’t the important part; the “wicked” is.  Again, a structure’s integrity is a direct reflection of a builder’s integrity.  How we build . . . with honesty . . . with purity of heart . . . with godly intentions . . . is more important than what we build.  Hence the godly structure: a tent . . . something of obviously much lesser value . . . is said to “flourish.”  

How can a house be easily destroyed and a tent flourish?  The heart and pursuits of the builder will reveal it every time.  So choose wisely today the materials and methods that are building the structure of your life.


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