Earlier this Summer news outlets around the world reported two beach houses from the same village on the Outer Banks of coastal North Carolina crashed into the sea – within hours of each other. (WAVY) Fortunately no one was injured in either instance. But the cause in both cases? The constant pounding of the Atlantic upon the beach had, over time, eroded the sand within which the foundations of these houses had been embedded.
In Matthew 7.24-27, Jesus warns us that what happened to these houses can also happen to any of us:
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 27 And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.”
Spiritual erosion can – and does – take place. And it can be as devastating to our emotional health as the pounding of the ocean is to a stately coastal home.
I am not sure, exactly, where I first saw the equation below. They seem to have bounced around the internet, in some form or another. But common attribution seems to go to Scott Sauls (though I have not yet found it in any of his writings that I have read). But the basic premise is that spiritual erosion is a real danger, and we ought to be as diligent about checking and refortifying our foundations as an owner of a seaside villa should be about checking the foundations of his/her home. If we do not keep up, our emotional health can come crashing down and sucked out to sea.
Life itself causes weathering. But particular attention must be given to our attitudes, values, and desires. When love for [A] is greater than (>) love for [B}, spiritual erosion can develop over time:
- self > serving
- leisure > church
- consuming > giving
- autonomy > commitment
- clique > community
- sin > truth
- feelings > Scripture
- winning > listening
- being right > being kind
NOTE TO SELF: Keep watch of your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. (Proverbs 4.23)