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.
1 Corinthians 1:27
God Chooses the Opposite
When I dish out ice cream for my two children at the same time, I very purposefully put more in one bowl than I do the other. It’s an experiment. Which bowl will the first-comer choose, the one with more ice cream or less?
So far, I’ve been able to predict the outcome with pinpoint precision. The first to choose always chooses more ice cream. Always. Go figure!
What accounts for this unfailing phenomenon? I think you already know. It’s not random, and it’s certainly no accident. Like their father, my children are sinful and self-concerned, so it’s natural for them to want more of something good than their neighbor. Of course, we sinners want more than the other person. If given the choice, we almost always choose the most, the best, the brightest, the strongest, the most attractive.
How different we are from our holy and perfect God! St. Paul tells us that God is just the opposite. When it comes to God choosing things in this world—especially people—he chooses the opposite of what we would naturally choose. “God chose the foolish things of the world,” Paul declares. “God chose the weak things of the world.”
Is God just being difficult, bucking the trend? No, he’s trying to teach us the important lesson that what we judge to be important and best often isn’t important or best at all. Our sinful hearts and minds attempt to convince us otherwise, but God puts his foot down by choosing the foolish things “to shame the wise” and choosing the weak things “to shame the strong.”
We see this most clearly in the way that God chose to save us from our sins. He sent his Son, Jesus, who had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him, to die an awful death on a cross as our substitute. The cross seems foolish and weak to our eyes, but through faith, we see the opposite, the wisdom and power of God’s love for us sinners shining brightly.
Jesus, help me to see and understand the wisdom and power of your choices and Jesus’ cross. Amen.
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