Not very often do you hear people boast in what they are lacking. I cannot remember the last time a presidential candidate approached the podium only to expound on their weaknesses and shortcomings while trusting that a message with that kind of humility would certainly win them the election. Or a coach approach his nationally ranked team on the edge of a championship rant about how lacking and foolish the team is but trusting that they would win in spite of those deficits. It’s not natural for us to boast in our weaknesses, to be vulnerable to others, or to claim foolishness in our strategies. Why? Because the world expects great things to come to those who have a report card defined by strength, intelligence, popularity. And so the story goes on in culture of the countless settings for rhetoric, fireworks, and flashy words we get behind to win the people, the moments, and the influence.
The Apostle Paul had a different approach when it came to the ministry of the gospel. He would write to the church at Corinth the following: “Brothers, consider your calling: not many are wise from a human perspective, not many powerful, not many of noble birth. Instead, God has chosen the world’s foolish things to shame the wise, and God has chosen the world’s weak things to shame the strong. God has chosen the world’s insignificant and despised things – the things viewed as nothing – so He might bring to nothing the things that are viewed as something, so that no one can boast in His presence. But from Him you are in Christ Jesus, who for us became wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption…” (1 Corinthians 1: 26-31). In this portion of his letter (1 Corinthians chapters 1 & 2) to the church he would remind them that God uses His Son, His Word, and His Spirit to bring about eternal accomplishments in the world. God would use a foolish message, the gospel, delivered in a foolish means, preaching, proclaimed by foolish people, his disciples, to redeem and sanctify unrighteous people. Paul would further explain that he himself would serve the gospel as a foolish man, with little brilliance and much weakness, only to witness the power of God transform the lives of many.
May passages like this be a reminder to us all that God uses the faithful. He isn’t looking for the smartest, strongest, or the most popular to accomplish His work. He can take a foolish person like myself, delivering a message that is foolishness to the world, to accomplish an eternal work in others because His Son, His Word, and His Spirit have the power to overcome all our collective weaknesses. May you be encouraged this week to trust God and His sufficient power to accomplish much in your life and through your life.
Grace and Peace,