I’ve been reflecting on thoughts about foolishness this Aprils fool’s day.
Isobel Kuehn a missionary to China reflected on I Corinthians 4 and wrote a book called in the arena. Her reflection as Christians we are on display for the world and look like fools has long stuck with me.
Sometimes it may appear foolish to follow Christ as we give up things that seem valuable to the world or not in line with the world’s thinking and we face much resistance and rejection. In fact, we may feel like fools.
Shadow of the Almighty is collection of Jim Elliot journal entries where he wrote “He is no fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
Jim Elliot would lose his life, martyred by those he came to serve, but his gain is far greater.
He was simply following the example of Moses who gave up the riches of Egypt for the reproach of the people of Israel for he is looking to a reward (Hebrews 11).
In fact what the bible calls a fool is one who trusts himself, looks to this world for gain- rather than trust God and seek reward in Him.
Jesus tells a parable (recorded in Luke 11) about a rich man who builds buildings for all his stuff ans says
But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”
According to Jesus the fool lives for this world. The fool stores up treasure on earth, instead of in heaven.
He also gives a parable of a wise man and foolish man- the wise man build his house on the rock and the foolish man builds his house on the sand.
Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.
But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.
We can be wise or fool- we can practice God’s Word or not.
Notice it is not enough to hear – or read- God’s Word, we must do it.
i feel like many see that and think i reading God’s Word makes me wise- well it is the information to make one wise, but only the one who does what God’s Word says is actually wise. In fact one who reads God’s Word and doesn’t do may be the most unwise. Like James says – he is like a man who looks in the mirror and forgets what he looks like (which is me by the way- if you seen me, you know that).
If we want to be a fool- then…
… don’t listen to God
… don’t obey God’s Word
… live for this world
… live for temporal things
God’s Word is filled with verses about foolishness and wisdom. just take a gander
And over and over again it tells us the beginning of wisdom is to fear the Lord, obey His word, turn from sin. We are instructed to be humble. The fool does not heed God’s Word or instruction from others. The fool is wise in his own eyes.
- Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe. Prov 28:26
- The way of fools seems right to them, but the wise listen to advice. Prov 12:15
- The foolsays in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good. Psalm 14:1
One thing for sure- God is not a fool, not foolish. He is wise. (The foolishness of God is wiser than the wisdom of man!).
His ways may seem foolish to us- but He has a plan, and it is a good plan – a great plan.
The pinacle of this is seen in the Cross.
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. I Cor 1;18
So, though others may look down on us, or think we are fools – or we may feel like fools from time to time – certainly there cold be an easier way – we decide to continue to follow God. The reward is great.
These days that means we continue to raise support, continue to make phone calls, continue to reach out to others, and continue to pray.
The other day, I read somewhere – what do you do when you pray and God doesn’t answer? You keep praying.
Prayer may seem foolish when some may say just do something- but we want to continue to trust the lord and seek His provisions, depend on Him as we take steps of faith – and ask Him to do big things! Even if it seems foolish or feels foolish- we pray.
And even though we could try to pursue riches of this world, recognition from others – we seek instead reward in Christ.
So, don’t be a fool. Follow Jesus. Give up the things of this world and pursue a greater reward.