Looking at various social media sites you’d think that most people’s lives are all fun, they always look good, are always happy, and things are under control. Selfies when shared depict how we want people to see us, and advertising helps propagate many misperceptions. Over time as we observe these images and messages, we can be succumbed to believing that money buys happiness, looking good means you feel good, or that it is easy to be thin and have a nice body “by following these simple steps”.
Recently a highly respected personal trainer who specializes in strength training shared a related story. A prospective client came to him with a photo of an extraordinarily physically fit person. The prospective client asked how long it would take to look like the person in the photograph. The trainer replied, “with a lot of hard work, a strict diet, and a strong commitment it could take about two years, maybe more”.
Frustrated, the prospective client said, “that’s too long” and decided not to even try, just like that. This person had come to believe the lies that the world is spinning and that there are shortcuts to everything that is great.
It is with a similar mindset that many approach faith or even disdain such beliefs. Many listen to what the world (or the ruler of lies) spins as “conventional wisdom”: You don’t need God, do what you like, Christianity is a myth, or that people who believe are weak and foolish.
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. (1 Corinthians 1:18)
The truth is that God turned this “conventional wisdom” upside down when he used an unassuming carpenter from a lowly respected town to become the Savior of the World. Even Satan wanted Jesus dead as though this might thwart God’s plan. It is something that at first didn’t seem to make sense, and that’s the beauty of it: It was God’s plan, the greatest event of all time, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, defeating death so that we can live.
19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.” 20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (1 Corinthians 1:19-20)
Read God’s word and listen to his truth. He has a plan for you regardless of your status, the sins of your past, or your self-image. The same went for the early followers.
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. (1 Corinthians 1:26)
They were nobodies (by conventional wisdom) who God used for great, and even if you think you’re a “nobody”, you are somebody in God’s eyes. You are loved by God more than you know, and he can and will use you for great if you let him. Trust and obey.
Today’s reading: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31