Crossroads: Our Wisdom vs. God’s Wisdom

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1 Corinthians 1:18-25

My Story

There are many instances in my childhood where logic got me into trouble. It usually began with me saying “I told you so” and you can guess that it didn’t end well. Many times I irritated my whole family with “you know you’re just going to have to…” In my defense, I was generally right. A plus B equaled C and my logic was sound. But of course, that generally wasn’t the point. Sometimes it is hard to make the leap from logic/wisdom to faith. If, as Christians, we think about what we believe, we see that logically speaking, it doesn’t make sense. God came down in the form of Jesus, who was both human and divine and completely sinless. But instead of taking complete control, Jesus taught, allowed the people to arrest him, and died on a cross between two thieves. And if that were the end of the story, it would truly seem like a complete failure. Thank goodness that’s not the end, though. What happened next defied logic, wisdom, and the laws of nature. Jesus rose from the dead and left us with the Holy Spirit. Everything about Jesus’ ministry, including his miracles, his spending time with outcasts, his caring for the poor, and his refusal to take military power, defied the conventional wisdom of the day. Jesus respected women, recognized the importance of children, and touched the untouchables. From the moment he set foot on this Earth, he turned wisdom and logic on its side.

Your Story

Do you pride yourself on being a logical person? Is it hard for you to lean on God instead of your own wisdom? Talk about a time when you had to have faith in God, when you could not depend on your own wisdom to get you through. Talk about a leap of faith you had to take. How did it feel? What was the outcome?

The Bible Story

Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-25. Here it is from The Message: The Message that points to Christ on the Cross seems like sheer silliness to those hellbent on destruction, but for those on the way of salvation it makes perfect sense. This is the way God works, and most powerfully as it turns out. It’s written, I’ll turn conventional wisdom on its head, I’ll expose so-called experts as crackpots. So where can you find someone truly wise, truly educated, truly intelligent in this day and age? Hasn’t God exposed it all as pretentious nonsense? Since the world in all its fancy wisdom never had a clue when it came to knowing God, God in his wisdom took delight in using what the world considered dumb—preaching, of all things!—to bring those who trust him into the way of salvation. While Jews clamor for miraculous demonstrations and Greeks go in for philosophical wisdom, we go right on proclaiming Christ, the Crucified. Jews treat this like an anti-miracle—and Greeks pass it off as absurd. But to us who are personally called by God himself—both Jews and Greeks—Christ is God’s ultimate miracle and wisdom all wrapped up in one. Human wisdom is so tinny, so impotent, next to the seeming absurdity of God. Human strength can’t begin to compete with God’s “weakness.”

It’s easy to lean on our own wisdom. After all, we are independent Americans who don’t like to ask for help and who work to figure things out. With this brand of wisdom, it can be very difficult to accept God’s wisdom. As this passage of Scripture states, God’s wisdom can at times look totally crazy and ridiculous. We know and accept the story of Christ, but for many, it just seems too crazy to be true. It doesn’t make sense and, with their conventional wisdom, they simply cannot understand how it could happen. Rather than taking a leap of faith, they choose to rely on their own logic and come away empty-handed. But, for those of us who follow Christ, we see the power of God in the story: the God who chose to become like His creation so that He could experience life as we do, could walk beside us, and could allow humanity to do their worst while still accepting us as His own. Jesus laid down his own life for us so that we might live. Conventional wisdom tells us to save ourselves in times like that, but Jesus chose to save us instead of himself. When others see your faith and tell you that you are foolish to believe, remember that “the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength” (1 Corinthians 1:25).

Discussion

• If your children have accepted Jesus, ask them if anyone has ever made fun of them for being a Christian. Talk through ways to help them respond.
• Talk to your children about times in the life of your family when you’ve had to rely on God.
• Ask your children if there are times when they’ve had to take a leap of faith and rely on God.

Prayer

• Thank God that His wisdom is so much better than ours
• Ask God to help you listen to Him as you make decisions, for help in following His wisdom instead of your own

Jessica Asbell is currently serving as the Minister to Children at First Baptist Church of Roswell, GA. She has worked with children in various capacities at several churches, including Winter Park Baptist in Wilmington, NC, First Baptist of Decatur, GA, and Highland Hills Baptist in Macon, GA. She has a Master of Divinity from McAfee School of Theology and a BBA from Mercer University. In her spare time she loves to read, watch movies, and of course spend time with her sweet kitty, Lucy.

Kevin Head began serving as Minister to Young Families at First Baptist Roswell, Georgia, in February 2012. He has pastored three churches in Kentucky and more recently served as Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church, Lumberton, North Carolina. In 2007, Kevin and his wife, Amy, began a ministry-based counseling practice called New Perspectives for Life in East Cobb, Georgia. He is a graduate of Furman University (B.A.) and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Ph.D., M.Div.) in Louisville, Kentucky. Kevin was ordained by the First Baptist Church of Belvedere, South Carolina. His model of ministry is based on John 8 and the amazing, continual grace of Jesus Christ. Kevin and Amy have two children, Jenna and Joshua.

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