The wise home builder

First, if you are a person that is curious about how much you can benefit from ancient teachings, then this article is for you. Next, here is a short summary of a famous parable.

Imagine two builders who each built a home at a sandy beach. The more experienced builder valued building on a solid foundation, so that builder cleared away the sand to get down to the bedrock that was under the sand. Eventually, A storm arrived and soon only one of the two homes was still standing. The sand under the other home was washed away, so that home cracked and then eventually collapsed. The broken pieces of the home floated away. One of the homes was stable enough to endure through the same storm that demolished A home built by a different method.

So, that is the basic story. Many people Will already be familiar with the story, although they may not know the actual lesson of the story. While the author of that story May have had real-life expertise from being a Carpenter and Builder, The real lesson was not about the best way to build a home.

Do you know the purpose of the story? A contrast is emphasized between a person who hears a teaching and does not act on it and a person who hears the same teaching and does act on it.

To benefit from a teaching, there must be innovative action. However, the innovative action in the parable of the wise builder is not as simple as following a clear guideline.  The builder that built his house on sand did not get a guideline that was then dismissively ignored. There was no universal guidelines provided for how to build a home that can withstand storms and strong winds and flooding.

So what is it that leads to innovative action? In the parable, The experienced builder is apparently alert to the potential for a dangerous storm, while the novice builder is not.

Ultimately, what is being contrasted in the parable? Yes, there is the superficial contrast between the novice builder who is naïve or foolish and the experience builder who is prudent and conservative and cautious. However, the parable makes a very direct reference to going beneath the surface of what is easily visible.

So, again what is it exactly that leads to innovative action? A new perceptiveness naturally results in new perceptions and, very importantly, in new responses to the new perceptions.

Merely being exposed to a teaching does not automatically result in new perceptiveness, new values, or innovative actions (that produce new results). Only for those who accurately understand a teaching, then they will begin to apply it, then to learn from applying it.

When most people talk about the parable of the two builders, they typically emphasize obedience or even willingness. In both the books of Luke and Matthew, right after the parable of the two builders, there is another story about the power of willingness to lead to healing.

However, just prior to the parable of the two builders is also a warning about giving too much attention to miracles, to healings, and even to claiming to be a humble, obedient follower. So, What comes before that? There is An even more famous teaching of Jesus, which is about goodwill toward others and a willingness to forgive!

“Do not condemn,” he says. The teaching of to Withdraw past condemnations and even past antagonisms, and then further to forgive others of whatever bothered us about them. Rather than complain or vilify others about the speck of sand that slightly obscures their perceptiveness, first remove the many inches of sand that have piled up on top of your own foundation.

In other words, do not vilify anyone. Do not ridicule Christians for not fitting your ideals about a perfect Christian. Further, do not resent non-Christians for not even knowing your ideals (and probably not being at all interested in what they are).

Do not give your ideals more value than your observations. Keep using the many lessons to clear away the layers of presumptions that obscure your perceptiveness.

in particular, Do not get distracted by addictions to vilifying others. Whatever you have used to justify antagonism toward them, withdraw your past justifications. Forgive them of whatever you have condemned.

If we have condemned others for not condemning the right things in the right ways, forgive that. If we have condemned others for condemning the wrong things in the wrong ways, forgive that. In fact, we could even apologize to them for vilifying them!

Beware of building your life on the vanity of trying to put others down (to make yourself seem somehow superior). Do not obsess over justifying your own past. Withdraw your condemnation of your past and then you won’t be so quick to blame, to vilify, and to justify your antagonisms.

Now, obviously there are other ancient lessons that might be very beneficial for you to explore and apply. You can’t expect to know a whole book from reading one chapter, right? You also can’t expect to benefit from reading a book as much as you would benefit from interacting with someone who really understands what is below the surface of that book.

A lot of the lessons of Jesus are about noticing what most people do habitually, then questioning those habits. As for the parable of the two builders, it was not about a home that is designed in an unusual way or that has unusual features. What is unusual about that home (relative to the other home) may be almost completely invisible, as in hidden behind the siding and even below the surface of the ground.

In the lesson before that one (about removing what has been blinding your perception), it is not enough to stop condemning others. The point is first to completely stop avoiding your own blinders (by vilifying others) and then- even more importantly- to value clearing away what obscures your own perceptiveness.

How does that clearing away happen? There is no comprehensive answer given to that. There is merely a method for promoting that clearing away, which is to value the lessons of one who can be calm in the midst of challenges that cause most people to “fall apart” and then be “swept away” (like in a flood of antagonism and distress).

What is the behavior that goes with valuing lessons in perceptiveness, poise, and innovative methods? Explore those lessons. Interact with an authentic authority. Also, verify that you are getting the full benefit of those lessons by monitoring your actual results! Do you have the same results you have always had (and the same results as a enthusiastic novice)?

Dismiss the values of the crowd. Withdraw from the hysterias and controversies and antagonisms of the crowd.

I will conclude with another ancient parable. A king had several slaves. He gave each of them an equal amount of wealth to manage. After a time, one had the same amount as before, one five times the original amount, and one ten times the original amount.

The king assigned the last one to rule over ten cities (and the next to rule over five). Further, he reclaimed the entire portion back from the one who had not even put the wealth in to a bank to collect interest. To whom did he give that portion to invest?

Jesus concluded his parable by revealing that after all of that, the king finally ordered for his enemies to be brought before him and killed. Then, Jesus entered in to the city of Jerusalem, where he warned the current leaders there that their enemies would crush them.

Why? Because those leaders resisted the authority of Jesus and instead defended their own social rank and positions.

So, whatever happened to Jesus? Was he really killed? Was he defeated?

Many books say he was defeated (then later vindicated). However, how much do you really value what is written in a book? Even if a book repeatedly said “worship this book as holier than God” (and even if billions of people repeated that), is any of that evidence of relevance (or accuracy)? Is the authority of the book from the book itself… or is all the authority that is copied down in to the book completely independent of the book?

Don’t think of the book as the foundation on which to build your life. Think of the book as a shovel that is useful for clearing away the shaky foundations on which the crowd builds their lives (perhaps lives of naïveté, vanity, hysteria, distress, shame, and even vilification to distract from their shame and distress).

Once the sand has been cleared away down to the bedrock, do you set the shovel aside? Use the shovel whenever you need that tool. Set it down whenever you do not.

Who do you know that demonstrates unconventional insights, unusual poise, and intense ferocity without antagonism or contempt? If you don’t know anyone like that, find one (and then obey them).

Which book(s) they quote, if any, do not need to be your priority. Their authority is the authority from which the most valuable books are written.

That authority is within you. Once the sand that has covered it has been cleared away, then that authority stands on its own, even in the midst of storms that cause crowds to shake, to ridicule, to tremble, to cower, to scatter, and even to shout curses at that storm (and also at that authority).

If you condemn the authority that is your innate foundation, you might have a lot of company and even a lot of encouragement. However, popularity is quite distinct from accuracy (and also from relevance).


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