Worldly Foolish

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. As the Scriptures say,

“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise
and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.”

So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish. Since God in his wisdom saw to it that the world would never know him through human wisdom, he has used our foolish preaching to save those who believe.

. . .

Instead God chose the things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God.

– I Corinthians 1:18-21, 27-29

I count myself among the foolish.

For I, too, have accepted worldly wisdom, and worse, acted upon it, believing with every step into the abyss that I am wise. I am just as smart and capable as every philosopher, every scholar and every professional debater, after all. What need do I have of God’s wisdom? I know it all!

Even if I thought so only in my head, refusing at times to show off my “wisdom” to others around me. Perhaps then I knew deep down that my wisdom is false, and didn’t want to chance being shown my foolishness.

I try not to get sucked into the debates of the hour, because in the end, what does all that bloviating accomplish? Has one starving family received a hot meal? Has a shivering homeless person found a warm bed with my non-stop verbosity?

Has an orphan child found a loving home?

Last weekend I watched the documentary called “The Drop Box” about a pastor in South Korea. He created a box for women to anonymously drop off their newborn children who they couldn’t (or wouldn’t) take care of. He did so partly because he and others found so many abandoned babies who ultimately died from exposure.

In one of the last scenes, the interviewer asked why Pastor Lee adopted so many of the children he saved (15 when the movie was filmed), many of whom are disabled in some way. He said simply, “Because God adopted me.”

What started the entire ministry of saving children was due to the severe disability of his own son who can’t walk, talk or eat on his own. He can’t even sit up. He can blink and smile, and that’s about it.

Through his son Pastor Lee learned the dignity of all life, and as such wanted to do something to preserve the dignity of “unwanted” babies so they wouldn’t die cold and alone.

A beautiful example of God chosing something (the disabled and unwanted) “despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important.”

This movie is both heartbreaking and inspiring. I recommend watching it, but do keep a box of tissues on hand. You will need them as much as I did.

I’m tired of using worldly wisdom to try to debate people to my side on a worldly subject. How does that bring people closer to God? It’s nothing more than immersing myself in the noise and details while losing sight of eternity.

It’s time to quit pretending to be worldly wise, and instead be worldly foolish.

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