Success or Destruction
A popular song among little children is the “The Wise Man and the Foolish Man.” I can remember singing that song as a little child and now to see my own children singing it is such a blessing. In a familiar parable in Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus tells about two men that built their houses on two separate foundations. The wise man built his on a solid foundation (rock) and the foolish man on the weak foundation (sand). Allow me to point out some comparisons from this simple parable.
First, consider the similarities of these two men: they were both building a house. I hope you can point out in your life that you have built or are currently building. Our pastor recently challenged the staff in this very area. We are meant to build things. It is the natural desire inside all of us to build something whether it is a career, business, church, Sunday school class, bus route, relationship, etc. Another similarity I find is they both went through a storm. People erroneously think because they are saved and living for God that they are somehow exempt from the storms of life. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5, “he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” Living for God does not exempt us from problems, but it does ensure the help of God when the trials do come. Lastly, they both heard the preaching. Jesus tells us that both men heard “these sayings of mine.” They both knew what they should do. The wise man didn’t have an advantage over the foolish man. They both heard the same preaching and teaching.
What was the main difference between these two men? What was the difference between great success and complete destruction? One word—OBEDIENCE. Everything else was similar about these men except this area. After both men heard the preaching, Jesus said the wise man “doeth them” and the foolish man “doeth them not.” The wise man obeyed the preaching and the foolish man disregarded the preaching. The wise man followed the Word of God and the foolish man followed his own understanding. Success in the Christian life isn’t based on ability, talent, personality, pedigree or experience. It is based upon whether or not we obey the Word of God. I’m sure the foolish man was talented and liked, but he didn’t follow the leading of God in his life.
The main difference between those that succeed in the Christian life and those that don’t is inevitably one word—OBEDIENCE. Even though the children’s song is quite old and well known, it still carries a great truth.