Challenging Thought for Today: “You never know how well something is built until you try to take it apart”. Jonathan Scott
In a recent Wednesday Night Bible Study, my husband referenced the saying “trials and tribulations build character”. However, our pastor countered with “trials and tribulations actually bring out character”. Both of these statements resonated with me when I heard Jonathan make today’s challenge quote on an episode of the HGTV show, Property Brothers: Buying and Selling. Jonathan is a contractor and teams with his twin brother Drew, a real estate agent to help clients prepare their current home for sale in order to buy the home of their dreams. When asked what they are looking for, couples will often say “I want something with character. I don’t want cookie cutter”.
One online definition of character is “the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual”. When referring to houses, features such as decorative details, original hardwood floors, crown molding and baseboards make a home unique and special to a particular buyer. Sometimes when the Property Brothers introduce couples to an older home and Jonathan and his crew start to tear it apart, they will discover that previous owners have come in and covered up the character by plastering over fireplaces or covering hardwood floors with carpet. Other times, they will find evidence of a less than ethical builder taking dangerous shortcuts to save money or time. Electrical and plumbing issues that should have been updated to current building codes are covered up or partially fixed and camouflaged with the hope that their shoddy work won’t be discovered.
Have you ever been tempted to take an unwise shortcut to save time or money or simply to save face? I know I have. I won’t give you my track record, but I will say that it has improved with age and spiritual maturity. It’s always funny to me that even though Jonathan will warn couples to be prepared for the unexpected, especially when dealing with an older home, most of them are still surprised when it happens.
However, Jonathan is not. As a matter of fact, when he budgets the project, he builds in a contingency so that there will be extra money available, not if, but when they come across something unexpected. Sometimes I wonder if the Lord included Romans 3:23 as our contingency plan. When we hear that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”, it’s not a license to sin, it’s just a reassurance to us that God already knows that we can and will mess up. But, the other part of God’s wonderful plan is in 1 John 1:9 in that if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us. And, it doesn’t stop there. Just like there is still hope for any home in any condition as long as it’s still structurally sound and/or the foundation is still in tack, there is still hope for us when we go astray. Psalms 139:14 reminds us that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. God has “built” us to weather any storm that life throws at us and he can refurbish any part of our life, our heart, our mind and our soul if allow him to. He is committed to us through eternity.
One of my favorite things about watching home makeover shows on HGTV is the clients reaction once they see their “new” home fully restored. Often, they can’t believe it’s the same house. So, I thought today during this time of the year when most people take stock of what’s going on in their lives, I thought “Why not take a lesson from the Property Brothers?” No matter what condition my spiritual, physical, or emotional home is in, I can still feel the same way the Property Brothers’ clients feel about their new home. I just need to develop a new outlook that allows my faith in God to be restored and my character to become his character. .
I don’t want to be like the couple who says they are ready for the challenge of a renovation, but then become very discouraged and wants to quit when more than one problem or major expense occurs. I want to be more like the homeowner who is so committed to making the home the best it can be, that I take on each new challenge with renewed determination. Even if it means God has to uncover some things I would rather leave hidden and work on some character flaws I would rather not deal with. Will you join me?
God built you to last. If you have allowed life to place cracks in the foundation of your faith, reclaim it. Don’t be afraid when Satan places obstacles in your path to discourage you. Don’t give him power to tear your home or your world apart. Let your Jesus foundation shine through and show this world and yourself how fearfully and wonderfully made you are.