A SURE FOUNDATION.
It looks like a failed science fair experiment. It took 199 years to build, from start to finish. It's already crooked and gets more and more crooked every year. Some day (unless preventive measures are taken) it will lean so far out of line that its eight stories, three hundred steps, and church bells will topple to the ground in a pile of rubble.
What is it? You've already figured it out, haven't you? "It" is the famous leaning Tower of Pisa, a famous bell tower in Pisa, Italy. It was begun in 1173. By the time the first three stories were completed, the tower had begun to pitch to one side. Why? Because the ground beneath it began to sink. Its foundation was unstable.
Imagine that a masterpiece of architecture threatened because of a faulty foundation.
Same thing happens every day. People go to school, devour books, pass exams, earn degrees, graduate with honors. Yet, in spite of all their learning, in spite of all their knowledge, they do all kinds of stupid things, make poor choices, and mess up their lives big time! Why? Because of a faulty foundation. They may have knowledge. They may have learning. They may have education. But they don't have wisdom. Because "reverence for the Lord is the foundation of true wisdom. The rewards of wisdom come to all who obey him" (Psalm 111:10).
"Reverence for the Lord" has traditionally been referred to as "the fear of the Lord." The word fear in that phrase doesn't mean fearing God the way we might fear Freddie Krueger or Frankenstein, the kind of fear that churns your stomach or keeps you awake at night. It means respect for God, for his power and for his love.
If you really want to be wise and make good choices, you need to begin with reverence for the Lord. Reverence for God means developing a profound awareness of him. It means respecting him for who he is and what he can do. It means obeying him. It means not taking his gifts or his grace for granted. It means remembering that he is the judge of good and evil, of right and wrong.
True wisdom is like a magnificent bell tower-a structure of power, beauty, and grace. And, like all sound structures, it has a sure foundation: reverence for God.
REFLECT: How firm is your foundation? Do you respect and obey God, or are you trying to become wise without that foundation?
ACT: Hang one of your favorite posters or pictures slightly crooked to remind yourself over the next few days of the importance of a sure foundation.
PRAY: "God, sometimes I feel like my foundation is pretty shaky. I don't have a lot of wisdom, but I'm glad that you do. Help me to stay close to you so that I don't topple to the ground when..."