How are You Building?
I have always enjoyed the story of the Three Little Pigs. You remember the story; one day Mrs. Pig tells her three sons, Pork, Chop and Abraham, that it is time for them to move out on their own. Pork goes down the road and finds a man who is cutting wheat and asks for the left over straw to build his house and his request it granted. Chop goes down the road and finds a man who is cutting wood and asks for the left over sticks to build his house and his request is granted. Abraham goes down the road and finds a man who is building a house. Abraham offers to help the man complete his house if the man will let Abraham have some of the bricks and mortar to build his own house. Abraham’s request is granted.
The Big Bad Wolf arrives at Pork’s house; huffs and puffs, and blows down the straw house and Pork escapes to Chop’s house. The Big Bad Wolf follows Pork to Chop’s house; huffs and puffs, and blows Chop’s house down. Pork and Chop escape to Abraham’s house. When the Big Bad Wolf gets to Abraham’s house he huffs and puffs; and puffs and huffs but cannot blow down Abraham’s house.
Pork and Chop had no protection against the Big Bad Wolf because they chose to follow the quick and easy building method. They were able to find protection from the Big Bad Wolf in Abraham’s house because Abraham chose to follow the slow and difficult building plan. The lesson we learn from this story is our choices are important.
In 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 Paul tells Christians we need to be even more intentional in how we build our spiritual lives. In verses 10 and 11 he tells us there is only one sure foundation for us to build on and that is Christ Jesus. In verses 12-15 he tells us we have a choice of what materials we use to build on that foundation. We can use gold, silver, and precious stones or wood, hay, or straw. We build with gold, silver, and precious stones when we choose to follow the example of Jesus and serve one another in love and in submission to God. We build with wood, hay, and straw when we choose to live selfishly, thinking only of ourselves and what we want and what we perceive to be best for us.
In 1 Peter 5:8 we read that instead of a Big Bad Wolf seeking to devour us, Satan goes about “like a roaring lion.” The choices we make now about how we live our lives now will affect our lives now. If we choose to follow the quick and easy method of building our lives we will eventually come to a place where what we have built will come falling down around us and we will be defeated by the devil and his temptations. However if we choose to use the slow and difficult method of building our lives we will find the strength of the Holy Spirit holding firm what we build when the devil and his temptations and the storms of life crash against it.
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 warns us that there is a day of judgement coming. On that day the materials we have used to build our lives will be tested by fire. What is built with wood, hay, and straw (our selfish choices) will be burnt up. What is built with gold, silver, and precious stones (those choices that are obedient to Christ) will remain. What remains is the building we will have to present to Jesus as our temple (1 Corinthians 3:16). What kind of temple do you want to present to him? All of us build with wood, hay, and straw at times. It is the price we pay for being human. However, we have many opportunities each day to choose the better way and to build with gold, silver, and precious stones. As for me, I want my temple to have as much gold, silver, and precious stones as possible. It is the least I can do for the One who gave all He has for me. How are you building?