I've been sitting here this morning with my coffee, looking out a foggy, rain soaked window and wondering about the day ahead of me. And there's the fact that today is September 11th—maybe that has something to do with it. There are things to do, people to meet with, deadlines to finish. And there's this ever-present feeling that I'll never catch up to... where I'm supposed to be. Or worse. That's I'll never get to where I could have been. But as I turned my eyes away from the world outside and toward the Bible, something slapped me across the face. In a good way.
"Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you thinks he is wise by the standards of this age, he should become a fool so that he may become wise. for the wisdom of the world is foolishness in God's sight." 1 Corinthians 3:18-19
Way to turn things on their head, Paul. Way to take everything I'm worrying about and make it seem to be exactly what it is: foolishness.
So, after reading that statement—I started to think. What are the standards of this age? What is the prevailing wisdom of the world? And have I bought into it? I thought about what the world tells me over and over again about how to make my life full of meaning, purpose, and power. And here are the "truths" that came out:
- The more you have, the better off you'll be
- Suffer less, gain more
- Build a following, and success will follow, too
- Sell something—even if it's yourself—because money is power
- Everything is secondary to what you want
It's easy when they are on paper to say, "oh no, of course I don't believe those things. Money doesn't buy happiness!" But when you flip them on their head—the way Paul flips wisdom and foolishness in Corinthians—it's easier to feel the rub.
- The more you give, the more you'll be transformed
- Suffer more, gain what matters
- Seek first the Kingdom of God and what's right, and everything else will follow
- You can sell everything—because Jesus Christ offers real power
- What you want is secondary to serving others
That last one. That one rubbed me the hardest. What I want is secondary? Least important? That is not what I've been told.
And I like what I've been told.
I like looking out for me. And I don't even think it's selfishness because honestly—no one else is going to make my life what I want it to be. That's up to me. Isn't it?
But what if what I thought was wise was foolishness? And what if this "foolishness" is really the Truth?
Well then, that would hurt. And it would change everything.