The foolish to shame the wise

I don’t often write much about Gush but I thought I might after this mornings rare burst of inspiration.

I don’t know how encouragement affects individuals but with me it’s first (as you’d expect) that nice, wow someone’s noticed me/something I did, warm feeling – or, the I really needed to hear that… the secondary response to encouragement is the drive to continue on in doing what reaped the encouragement. Not necessarily for the encouragement or more of the same from others, just the fact that yes, this is a good thing, someone out there thinks you I’m not doing too bad a job. The whole task or job or ‘ministry’ if you’re absolutely dying to use that word seems easier, better, more fulfilling and more worthy.

I got on Gush this morning and I had a PM from a gush girl, just basically letting me know she appreciated me/what I’ve been doing. I genuinely like encouragement (as I’m a bit of a words person), but when it’s from someone I’d less expect it from it heightens the impact and you get the even more pleased thing going on.

Following this, I found my way to the Bible Study thread that Steve put up in deeper. I’ve been talking to him a bit about this over msn and he’s been really excited about possibly leading something that can continue on when we move forums. His ‘passion’ if I can call it that, has been rubbing off on me. So in order to back him, aside from PM/msn verbal ‘yeah that’s good!’, I thought I might respond to his thread. The best bit about it was that I got fairly involved and it led me off on a bit of hunt around verses to do with wisdom.

I get extremely sidetracked when I read the Bible, and often find it better to read Christian books and the like (which is a sucky alternative) as I like grabbing at other people’s thoughts. I do however like to come to my own conclusions and when I can dig around and sucessfully pull up new questions or random ideas it gets me enthused and drives me further into exploring. By sitting down to do something half decent in order to make sure that Haz’s hard work wasn’t wasted, I got a fair bit out of it.

And so, it’s one of the funny odd occasions where I was rather I guess excited about the whole thing. One of the times where I post stuff and actually feel as if I might be doing others a bit of a favor instead of just being another blur in the crowd.

Something that has hung around (hangs around rather) in the back of my mind a lot. Oh I really am talking A LOT, is to do with pride with false humility, with how much credit goes where and to whom and how does it all fit with living as we should before God.

It really pisses me off a bit when I have said to people in the past, “Yeah I do struggle with this pride thing” and they throw back the, “No you’re really humble/nah you’re fine/whatever you say” thing. They are first not listening, I am telling them what it’s like. I’m not looking for affirmation in that because any recieved is shallow and shortlived. Affirmation shouldn’t have to begged for. I grapple a fair bit in thinking about the pride thing (even mentioning it here I have all these no don’t’s running round my head).

The idea of false humility leaves me slightly mortified. Undoubtably I’ve been a culprit to it playing out in my life before, infact I know I have. I find it fairly despicable and really don’t want it as part of who I am.

Part of me thinks and tries to know or justify it all, “Yeah, Bec you freak out about it often enough, isn’t acknowledging it as a problem and being extremely aware of it a good step along the way to humility…” but then because I am thinking that – three steps back from the issue, it sets the whole doubt of where am I in all this question.

It’s a hard doing the leadership thing, because I suppose that is really where I am with a lot of this gush stuff.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 has this bit about boasting,

“This is what the LORD says:
“Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom
or the strong man boast of his strength
or the rich man boast of his riches,

but let him who boasts boast about this:
that he understands and knows me,
that I am the LORD, who exercises kindness,
justice and righteousness on earth,
for in these I delight,”
declares the LORD.”

and Romans 11:17-21 context

If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

and a passage I think is quite astoundingly beautiful 1 Corinthians 1:18-31:

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. For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”[c]

Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.

Brothers, 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. 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. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”[d]

I find it difficult to work out how wisdom, humility, pride and giving glory to God all fit together. I know what I can strive for. I know wisdom is a good thing. I know God is definitely good. But how how how can you point what’s being done towards him without it looking false, without it being fraudulent, without your motive being twisted and warped?

I am still being saved, on a daily basis. Yes God did his immediate transforming work in me some time a heck of a long while ago now – I can’t even remember a point, but it continues. I know what I’ve changed from.

I find it so hard to word what I grapple with in this. It’s frustrating that it plays out so constantly in the back of my mind. Whenever I’m doing/saying anything that could be percieved as putting an idea (possibly something quite good) forward, I’m still usually half thinking about this.

In all your ways, acknowledge Him? (Prov 3:6) yeah and do that in a way that doesn’t show you up to be a goody two shoes Christian?

I mean. Where do you go from there?

One Comment

  1. said:

    be real.
    admit your struggleing.
    be honest with others.
    be honest with God.

    February 6, 2006

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