“For God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom, and God’s weakness is stronger than human strength.” 1 Corinthians 1:25
What’s hitting me with this verse today is that Christians have no problem with this statement. I have no problem with it. I love it, in fact. Many of us claim to just love it. “Go, God!” we shout. “Show those self-acclaimed ‘wise people’ and ‘strong ones’ what’s up!” But to be personal, thinking on it, I pretty well hate for someone to come off as smarter or stronger than me. Hate it, with bloody passion. I posted on this earlier in terms of my competitive streak, but is it not universal? Does any of us like to feel foolish or weak, especially made to feel so by someone else? Never.
Maybe that’s why we jump on the 1 Corinthians 1:25 bandwagon, because it takes all those people down for us, anybody who ever thought they were better than us, or better than our faith, or better than, well, our God. The smug ones, the ones who think their poo doesn’t smell bad. Or the arrogant and corrupt who consider themselves above the law, like Mr. Kony or al-Assad lately:
Boo-yah, one day they’ll get theirs.
But, then there are those times when I find myself in their category. Clearly not an infamous warlord or tyrant, but living out of an all too similar set of values. Christians read verse 25 as if we’re the people “who have already gotten the message,” and who don’t need to learn this lesson ever again; we are the infinitely humble ones, so grateful for Christ’s forgiveness that we’d never dare exalt ourselves over God again. Liars, we are. Just because we’ve once believed God’s foolishness, and once rested on God for our salvation, doesn’t mean we never fall back into relying firmly on our own genius and power, nearly every minute of every day.
We take the reins back, and resort again to rational human thinking, and make lists of pros/cons to make our decisions. Sometimes that is rightly so, as people God has endowed with reason. But certainly sometimes we go hog wild, go way too far, and live no differently from people who have little or no faith. Sometimes we live no differently than people who are enemies of the faith, who are enemies of goodness and mercy and love. We believed once in the “absurd” idea that God became human to redeem us, was killed, buried, and resurrected — but it may or may not touch the practical choices of the day.
Today, resonate with verse 25 here. Enjoy the idea that there will be justice for all, that God’s truth will be made evident, that the most pompous and worldly wise will be humbled face-flat on the floor before the coming Christ. Evil will get what it deserves. Earthly power-brokers will see their kingdoms dissolve. Halleleujah. BUT, remember how much time we spend in their same line of thinking, with priorities just like theirs, buying into culture that upholds their ways, when really we are the people who should be bearing witness to the kingdom of God.