Hope for your financial life and beyond

The Difference Between Wise and Foolish Builders

Hidden Nuggets Series #90 – “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock…” – Matthew 7:24

Every builder knows you need a strong foundation to support a house.

wise and foolish builders

Build your house on the rock

A concrete slab works.

A poured basement wall placed on a footer works.

So do concrete blocks built on the same footing.

On the other hand, building a house that rested on gravel wouldn’t work in the long run.

Dirt would prove even worse.

It would be devastating on sand.

No one would conceive of building a house on something as unstable as sand, right? Without a solid foundation the ground would buckle under the weight of the house. The slightest storm would wash away the sand and cause the house to crumble.

Ironically though, we do this all the time because we fail to heed to what’s really true. And the contrast between wise and foolish builders is clearly seen in this story from the Bible.

Wise and Foolish Builders

Jesus, draws this contrast between wise and the foolish builders in Matthew 7:24-27:

“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”

The rock in this passage represents truth…THE truth. Those who trusted in it were secure. When the storm came they remained grounded. They did not fall.

The sand represents error or falsehood. Those who ignored the truth and chose to go their own path succumbed to the storm. They were washed away…overtaken…ruined.

Jesus is of course pointing out to his listeners the value of following His words. He is the Rock, the Truth on which lives can be built.

But I can’t help but think how the rock vs. sand analogy has application to other areas of life outside the spiritual.

Build On Rock Solid Truths

I know the basic truth about winning with my finances. It involves three basic principles: stay out of debt, spend less, and save/invest more.

It’s undeniable. That is THE truth when it comes to success with money.

Yet the foolish don’t see that. They’d rather build their fortunes on the sand. They practice the opposite behaviors by saving very little, spending all they make and using debt in great quantities to enhance their lifestyle and keep up with those around them.

The foolish don’t see that those patterns of behavior are a recipe for disaster when the storms come.

When they get laid off…

When they get sick…

When they get divorced…

When their spouse dies…


The storms of life are coming. Entrust your life to the Truth who will help you deal with the spiritual and emotional challenges that lie ahead.

And catch your poor money management habits before it’s too late. Build on the financial truths outlined above. They will lead you to success and help you weather any storm.

Questions: What other differences do you see between the wise and foolish builders? What foolish money beliefs have you followed? When did the light bulb click on for you – when did you begin to change? How has being financial prepared/aware helped you manage through a tough time of your life?

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  1. I never thought about the future in my life, for I never sought out purpose. Money was spent as it came into my hands because I never thought about next week or tomorrow. When I accepted the purpose God had for me in life, was when I began to build my foundation. That time is the present….now.

  2. Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank says

    I used to save some money for having no reasons at all, I just saved for something. It was really a disaster because it was truly pointless. That’s when I realized that I have to save on purpose, which worked out and let me save much more. Now, I can say I am wiser than ever.

  3. Michael S says

    I enjoyed this article. As a minister, I have preached on this message, but never from a financial angle. It definitely fits!

    I would like to share something the Lord showed me one time with this. When it comes to building on the rock, it isn’t really a rock vs sand. It’s a foundation vs no foundation. Technically, we build a concrete slab, but it’s on sand still(top of the earth). I want to share this story from Luke’s perspective.

    Luk 6:48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
    Luk 6:49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

    If you noticed he mentioned “Digged deep.” When they built the city of Venice, Italy they took trees, and pounded them into the marsh until it hit bedrock. They did this over and over, using over a million trees. The whole city is built on them. In the same way, to build a foundation on rock means to dig deep, through all the mess, advice, and things offered to find the biblical foundation to base your choices on.

    We must dig down deep to find the truth. You can’t just take someone’s word for it, because you might be building your choices on sand, and YOU’RE responsible for your choices. The advice offered in this blog, I feel, is good solid advice. I may not always agree with every angle, but the basics(foundation) are spot on.

    Read. Learn. Rightly divide the word. Find the truth in scripture, and build on THAT.

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