The Mistake You Can’t Hide | God’s Word Today

The Mistake You Cant Hide

“But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

It was a hot, humid day when elevator engineers from General Electric made their way to a Hong Kong high rise.  Their task was to ensure that the elevator shafts were perfectly straight before the elevators were installed.  As they analyzed their technical data, they first thought they had made a mistake, but not so!  The whole building was leaning.  As they sounded the alarm, concern began to grow.  How dangerous was the situation, and who was to blame?

That’s when the finger pointing began.  Contractors said, “We just built according to specifications.”  Architects said, “We designed it according to the direction of the Housing Department.”  But the buck stops somewhere.  Eventually members of the government’s Housing Authority started squirming.  It became evident that in an attempt to save money, they had specified the use of concrete piles whereas the accepted standard had become H-shaped steel rods which support the massive high rises.

They call them, “The leaning towers of Tin Shui Wai,” and cartoons mock with images of a leaning building, as a contractor says, “No worries. This can be a tourist attraction like the leaning tower of Pisa.”

Those who will bear the multimillion-dollar cost of shoring up the leaning towers are not laughing to be sure.  Heads will roll, and what was thought to be a great way to save money will end up being a very expensive project.

“Old so soon; smart so late” we sometime say.  Shortcuts are seldom ever worth their cost–whether it is in the cost of a building foundation or getting ahead in the business world.

Over the years, I have done a lecture that I call, “God’s Blueprint for the Family,” and as a teaser, all over the world I have asked, “What is the most important part of a building?”  No matter where the question is asked, the answer is the same:  the foundation.

An interesting thing about foundations is that once the building is finished, there is nothing to show for all the cost and effort.  Besides who can tell whether you have cut costs and used concrete instead of steel?  Who can tell?  Nobody, that is, until the structure begins to tilt, and then the whole world knows somebody cheated.

As I had breakfast with one of Asia’s leading architects, a man whose name appears on the plans of some of the finest buildings in Manila, Hong Kong and Singapore, I asked, “How do you determine how tall a building can go without eventually tilting?”

The answer certified the obvious: “The height of a building,” he said, “is in proportion to the strength of the foundation.”  That’s true of your marriage, your business, and your life in general.

A business built on the foundation of integrity and honesty will stand tall and true when the winds blow and the house is tested by time.  A marriage built on a sold spiritual foundation recognizing the importance of honoring vows and commitments will be the one to weather the stress which causes many marriages to collapse.  How great is the temptation to cut the corners, to convince yourself that nobody will know, and that you can get away with it!  But there is an old adage from the book of Numbers which is still as true today as it was nearly 3500 years ago when Moses said, “You may be sure that your sin will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

When you live with dishonesty it becomes the dry rot of your soul which eventually will disease the timber of your life.  The little termites may take a long, long time to do their work, but eventually they stop holding hands and the house collapses.  When you are tempted to cut the corner, remember the leaning towers of Tin Shui Wai in Hong Kong and think twice.

Resource reading: Psalm 127: 1-5

This devotional © by Harold J. Sala.  All rights reserved.  Used by permission from Guidelines International Ministries. Not for sale or profit.

Dr. Harold J. Sala

Dr. Harold J. Sala

Speaker, author and Bible teacher, Dr. Harold Sala founded Guidelines in 1963.Pioneering the five-minute commentary in Christian radio, Dr. Sala’s daily “Guidelines-A Five Minute Commentary on Living” is heard the world over in a variety of languages. Sala, who holds a Ph.D. in biblical text, has authored over 55 books published in 19 languages.He speaks and teaches frequently at conferences, seminars, and churches worldwide. Residing in Mission Viejo, California, Harold and his wife, Darlene, have three adult children (daughter Bonnie is now Guidelines president) and eight well-loved grandchildren.
Dr. Harold J. Sala

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