What Do I Choose As A Foundation?




A few days ago I concluded a post with the following observation:


“I think one thing is certain. The choices I make today will prepare me for the choices ahead. The truth that I bury in my heart will form the foundation of what I believe. That foundation will help me face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”


It begs the question of what I will choose to bury in my heart to form the foundation of what I believe that then guides my choices. I am (in this case) looking at what I intentionally choose to bury in my heart.


All of us have things that get buried in our heart over time. The list can be endless, but let me try naming a few of them. I easily bury in my heart things that are said about me, over me, and to me from before I can even speak. Since my brain is not fully developed, they (along with my experiences) get randomly tucked away without a determination of whether they are truth, lies, or half-truths. Nonetheless they begin to lay down a foundation of what I believe about myself. Those closest to me often do not pause to think of how powerful and long lasting their words can be.


Those beginning perceptions form beliefs that also begin to form how I view everything and everyone around me. I take them as truth even though they may not be. They become “my” truth and I start to make choices (or not make choices) based on them without much consideration as to whether or not they are actually true. As a result, they subtly, but powerfully influence our preferences, biases, thoughts, dreams, hopes, and more.


When I get introduced to formal education in any form, I start to have a grid or base from img_2218which to test out “my” truth to determine if objective facts (truth?) match up to “my” subjective truth. Information from teachers (formal and informal) and a variety of books, magazines, news reports, peers, and social media get thrown into the smorgasbord I take in. What I do not realize at the outset is these added things shaping my foundational beliefs may not be true either even though I often might have strong, passionate feelings about them.


If I am going to consider what I intentionally bury in my heart as a foundation for my choices, I need to be much more deliberate. It will require me to research and look more carefully at the sources and the people behind the sources and what “their” truth has been to determine if it is “the” truth. With all the current means of research that technology has blessed me with, it actually can make it harder. Too much comes at me from all sources, all persuasions, all over the world and often it is extraordinarily difficult to discover whether I have been taking in misinformation disseminated deliberately or through ignorance. That definitely does not help me in determining whether I will make the easy choice or the right choice in most cases.


That is especially true because the information often comes at me without a moral framework more common a hundred years ago.


Determining truth can be difficult. Pilate made that clear as he examined Jesus as written in John 18:38 when he said, “What is truth?” He was clearly having a hard time deciding between what was easy and what was right.


Perhaps the most relevant thing I need to bury in my heart is found in Psalm 119:11:


“I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” ESV


The key to burying His Word in my heart is influenced by many things. Those early pieces of “my” truth will be one of the influences. The knowledge, skill, and truthfulness of the teachers, preachers, and books I take in will have a great impact as well. I think that makes it essential that I discipline myself to researching out who God is by looking at His own words spoken through the men and women He chose that appear in the Bible. Only then can I do what a former pastor routinely admonished his congregation to do at the end of his Sunday sermons: “Don’t take my word for it. Go home and read the Word yourself and check on what I say to be certain it is true.”


As a believer I can be too quick to casually approach God’s Word and pick what I like or prefer to hear and see, a bit like sorting through fruits and vegetables in the produce aisle. I can attest that God can speak through that many times, but it reveals a truth I might overlook that Bible study leader and writer, Bron Short, put succinctly: “People think they themselves are located at the center of interest in the text; they need to find God there instead.”


The incredible news is that God really does want us to know who He really is and what He is really about so we bury “His” truth in our hearts as a foundation for our choices. That comes only when I don’t simply randomly pick out something to read that may be quite good, but doesn’t given me a complete picture of Him. If that is all I do, then when life throws me a curve ball (Don’t I wish that were not so common!!), I will be more likely to make the easy choice versus the right choice.


Kathleen Buswell Nielson points out pivotal truths about the Word in her exceptional little book entitled Bible Study: Following the Ways of the Word:


  • The Bible is God speaking.
  • The Bible is powerful.
  • The Bible is understandable.
  • The Bible is a literary work.
  • The Bible is one story.


We are all blessed with many wonderful Bible studies to choose from. Some are on a book of the Bible, some are topical, and some are a combination of a number of things. They are a great source of encouragement and teaching, but I would encourage you to look a bit more at the incredible feast the Word offers when we come to know it as one story and see the context of the passages we sometimes seize upon without knowing fully their meaning.


“…how amazing…to be privileged to hear from the Lord our Maker. How far away from sterile intellectual analysis is the process of deeply studying God’s Word. As we lean together over a biblical text to study it, we are in effect leaning in closer to the breath of God.” Kathleen Buswell Nielson






21 thoughts on “What Do I Choose As A Foundation?

  1. Pam,
    I so often write about identity in Christ. It’s at the heart of my message of hope. This post is filled with statements that kept my head nodding, “YES!” Our identity and our foundation are easily shaken by our circumstances if we do not yet know the love of Christ and who He says we are. It’s so important to be aware of where we are grounded on His truth and where we might be persuaded by our foundation. Thank you, friend, for sharing this hope at #MomentsofHope! I appreciate you!
    Blessings and smiles,

    1. Thanks so much, precious lady! We are very much in sync on this! Always enjoy connecting with you and you are a blessing to me. Praying for a God-kissed day for you and yours!

  2. I like this: “The choices I make today will prepare me for the choices ahead.” Thank you for sharing this post at the Wednesday AIM Link Party. I shared it on my social media sites.

  3. Pam, there’s so much out there pretending to be truth, that the truth ends up buried, doesn’t it? And, it’s so true that it’s up to us to uncover it. To discern the truth from the easy. To pray for wisdom and clarity. — Great thoughts, Pam. Good to be your linkup buddy at Dawn’s place today. 🙂 (Fyi, I’ve started a linkup, too. You’re welcome to join, if you’d like! It’s called Chasing Community and it’s on my site: BrendaBradfordOttinger.com ) Thanks for sharing, Pam. ((hug))

  4. Pam, I can use as many reminders to go back to my foundation as possible. It’s a daily, weekly, monthly practice in faith. All the worst wrongs take place the minute I step away. “Leaning closer to the breath of God…” Beautiful.

  5. Hi Pam! I love that quote from Bron Short. I think I have been very guilty of trying to see myself in Scripture, when I should be looking for Christ. I love that.
    It really is amazing how many people speak to us, and how much of their thoughts and words seep into our minds. As you say, much of media comes at us too, and without a moral framework. It’s almost impossible to think we can make sense of it all.
    That’s why I like looking to God’s word for direction. That’s a great framework for me…as long as I keep looking for Jesus, not just me!
    PS You should teach. Maybe you have before?

    1. Hi Ceil! Thanks for the insightful reflection here! Yes, I did teach for nearly 15 years in a public school setting and then for many years after that in, for, and with various ministries up until retirement 2 years ago.

  6. “If I am going to consider what I intentionally bury in my heart as a foundation for my choices, I need to be much more deliberate.” I so agree. Things WILL get buried in our heart. The difference is how they get there. Deliberate or otherwise? Thanks for sharing this truth, Pam.

  7. I love this. The question that always boggles my mind is what kind of foundation do you have if you’re not a bible reader. I’m trying to piece that together myself. I’m exploring that on my page Mommy’s Mid-Life Quest. iamzoewatson.com/mommys-mid-life-quest/

  8. Hi Pam,
    Truth is so difficult to determine sometimes, through our own cloudy perspective and through the comments and beliefs of others around us, isn’t it? I think I’m always on a quest to find God’s truth and meaning in my life, and really this the journey of my life — it’s all meaningless without God’s truth. Grateful that you shared these words from your heart!

  9. Wonderful sentiments on burying truth in our hearts …truth from God’s living Word. And I really love how you pointed out that the Bible is understandable! Amen! And through the Spirit that quickens our hearts as we read! Happy Wednesday, from the Messes to Messages linkup!

  10. Glad to be your neighbor at Messy Marriage today. Thank you for these words. I am good at burying “truth” in my heart but whose truth is it-mine or God’s? It is so easy to have the truth become something else depending on the lens we are using to look at it. Wise words today. I love the quote from Kathleen Buswell Nielson.

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