In the city of Pisa, Italy in August 1173, workers laid the first stone for a magnificent bell tower. The building materials and workmanship were second to none in the Renaissance era. Yet it soon became clear that something was terribly wrong: a slight “lean” was visible. The building’s brilliant design was already becoming less important than its flawed foundation. Unfortunately, the tower was built on marshy soil only three meters above sea level. Today, the “Leaning Tower of Pisa” has a reputation as an oddity in architecture.
In my last nearly 50 years of ministry as a youth leader, pastor and a mentor to leaders in the nations, I have watched this same scenario played out in the lives of Christians around the world. Many launch out in their newly found faith in Jesus with great zeal, but start to sink when they are hit with discouragement and problems. In some cases, we see young Christians (and those old enough to know better) erect faulty towers, using the building blocks of their personal abilities, gifts, and vision. Unfortunately, their foundation is as unstable as the marshy soil underneath the Tower of Pisa! Without exception, every one of us desperately needs a solid, biblical foundation for our lives. The Bible tells us in Psalm 11:3: If the foundations are destroyed, what can the righteous do?