Christian author Rick Joyner states,“Those who are the most successful in any field are those who do the basics best. To be a disciple of Christ, we want the foundation to be right. If the foundation is not level and strong, the higher we go the greater the danger of collapse.”
One key phrase lept off the page at me: “If the foundation is not level and strong, the higher we go the greater the danger of collapse.” All to often we read of admired Christian leaders getting entangled in some sort of sinful scandal or controversy. And we wonder, “How did it happen to them?”
Sometimes we think the greater the heights of Christian notoriety and leadership, the greater the degree of Christian sanctification and godliness. But this is not a given. Rather it should be understood that the greater the heights of Christian notoriety and leadership, the greater the NEED for Christian sanctification and godliness.
It seems as if many who fell into sin, pride or deception did so only after having years and sometimes decades of ministry marked by humility, teachableness and accountability. In other words they started off right, but somewhere along the vertical incline towards ministry increase, influence and notoriety something went horribly wrong.
In his quote Joyner speaks of the critical importance of the foundation when constructing a building. But in truth when one is building vertical, every floor built in essence becomes a foundation for the next floor to be build above. Imagine for a moment a skyscraper being built. If someone builds well from the foundation to the 10th floor but on the 11th floor they begin to cut corners, weaken the cement mix to cut costs and not give attention to building level, the building will begin to slightly lean in a direction that is off center and not truly vertical.
Buildings aren’t supposed to lean. Once they do their fate is sealed. As one continues to add floor after floor an ever increasing amount of stress is placed upon the 11th floor where the lean first started and cement first weakened. Like playing building blocks with a child who fails to understand the importance of proper alignment, the whole vertical structure is doomed to bend and buckle and then collapse.
So also in a world where Christian leaders can become like sought-after celebraties and showmasters, a failure to align each move, each increase and each accolade to the centered governance of Christ and his cross inevitably puts one’s life at great risk to sin, pride, deception and ruin. The higher one builds the greater the danger of collapse.
May we all remain humble and teachable–always.