A strong foundation is indispensable if you want something to last. The truth of this principle manifests itself in a variety of contexts. For example, when building a house or any other type of structure, ample time is spent in an effort to create a solid, trustworthy foundation. Without one, anything you spend on the building will be a waste.
The principle holds true in the world of psychology as well. The type of attachment that a child forms with each parent is largely shaped by the responsiveness or lack thereof that a parent exhibits. Interestingly, research shows that if a mother is appropriately sensitive and responsive to a child, he or she will develop a secure rather than insecure attachment. A secure attachment is characterized by feelings of safety and security. In a nutshell, a child with a secure attachment is emboldened to venture forth and explore the environment around them so long as the parent is within reasonable sight. An insecure attachment quite often results in a clingy child who does not want to venture forth because they are afraid of “losing” the parent. The message is simple: a safe, secure, loving foundation creates an emotional freedom in a child to go forth and explore.
Some of the greatest minds throughout the history of Western culture have recognized the importance of having a solid foundation. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato taught that immaterial forms existed in another invisible realm which served as the foundation and source of all reality. René Descartes, the father of modern philosophy, argued that the propositional truth, “I think, therefore, I am” (i.e., the Cogito) was the foundation for all knowledge, even the knowledge of God. And last, the writers of the American Declaration of Independence penned the words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” These self-evident truths served as the spiritual and moral foundation upon which the entire edifice of our nation was built.
It is no different in the Christian faith; a foundation is crucial whether in theory or practice. Fortunately, the Christian faith is a faith of foundations. We are not left to grope in the dark for makeshift truths by which to build and organize our lives, families, and churches. However, it would be an error in logic to assume that because foundations exist, Christians are living lives that reflect these foundational truths and are enjoying the intellectual, emotional, relational, and spiritual benefits they generate. To assume otherwise is tantamount to thinking that just because you present a starving person food, they will not die. In other words, it is not the existence, but the actual partaking of that which exists which makes a concrete difference.
During my eleven-plus years of serving in the local church as a youth pastor, college and young adult pastor, small group pastor, and hospital care pastor, I continually met with Christian after Christian who did not have a solid Biblical foundation. They did not know the wonderful, core truths about God, mankind, and everything in-between that God has graciously revealed in the Bible. Consequently, they had no choice but to suffer from insecurity, doubt, confusion, anxiety, and fear. When these rule the human heart, God’s love, peace, joy, and holiness cannot reign. David wrote in Psalms 11:3, “If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?” If you don’t have a strong foundation, you are going down. Jesus himself made this point when he said:
“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” (Matthew 7:24-27 NIV)
Truth must not only be heard but accepted if it is going to produce fruit both within and without (Mark 4:20). Knowing the foundational truths that God has revealed in the Bible will impact every area of your life, both internally and externally. A.W. Tozer, a pastor and theologian in the mid-20th century, wrote “...the most portentous fact about any man is not what he at a given time may say or do, but what he in his deep heart conceives God to be like.”1 He continues, “The man who comes to a right belief about God is relieved of ten thousand temporal problems…”2 The bottom line is that God wants our thinking informed and shaped by His truth and that truth has been revealed propositionally in the Bible for our good.
I was so bothered by the fact that Christians were missing out on God’s fullness due to a poor foundation that I decided to do something about it. Taking David’s warning to heart, I wrote a book titled Breaking Ground: A 6-week Foundational Study for New Believers (available in both print and digital format). The book consists of five modules per week for six weeks (30 total) and is designed to be discussed with a mentor once per week throughout the duration.
Though originally written for new believers, it can also benefit any follower of Christ who lacks a sturdy, Biblical foundation. So if you, someone you know, or someone you are discipling is in need of a solid Biblical foundation, consider reading Breaking Ground.
1 Tozer, A.W. The Knowledge of the Holy. New York: Harper and Brothers, 9.
2 Ibid., 10.