The Cross is Foolishness

The message of the cross is foolish to those who are headed for destruction! But we who are being saved know it is the very power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:18

The cross is foolish.

I’ve too often worn that verse like a badge of honor.

As if I have been born into the religious “in crowd” and there are just so many people on the outside who don’t get it. Who don’t understand or know what I know. But I am oh-so-blessed to know the score, to comprehend the truth in life.

Sure they may ridicule or make fun, but they just can’t see. They don’t understand.

But lately that verse feels less like a badge and more like a challenge.

Because it’s hard to look at the cross and believe that’s what God looks like. And I don’t mean that I can’t intellectually assert to the principle. That’s not very difficult. No, what’s hard is believing it on a much deeper level. In a I-believe-it-so-much-that-it-frames-my-life-and-my-actions kind of way.

A God who flexes his muscles to defeat all other ideologies and powers?
Sure.
A God who overcomes even the nature of death itself?
Absolutely.

But a God who does it by being born as a child in obscurity?
One who spends his time not with the religious or cultural elite, but with sinners and outcasts?
A God that goes willingly to a humiliating and scandalous death?

Really?

That’s not the way you start a movement.
That’s not the way you inspire people to follow you.
That’s not the way to find success in the world, right?

In fact, it sounds downright foolish.

Because no other power structure in the world works this way. Success in this world is about power and ability and determination. It’s about forcing your way through when met with opposition.

Success is a fight. And it’s one I’ve bought into.

Because when I feel put down or taken advantage of, my first reaction is to
push back
assert my position
reach deep down inside and find the power to do better and overcome
to force my way back to the top of the heap no matter who else gets pushed back down.

That feels so right. So natural.

But you know what? I rarely feel better. Or fulfilled. Or peaceful.

Then there are the times when I actually find the strength to be humble. The times when I allow my ego to be swallowed and my pride laid down for the good of someone else.

11247026_1575110762766342_629052573_nThe times when I follow the ways of the cross.

And there it is —
peace
relationship
meaning
value
joy.

What felt so backward, so counter-intuitive led me to the place I wanted to be all along.

Yep, the cross still seems like foolishness. But not to “those people”. It’s seems like foolishness to me. Because I too often don’t give it a chance.

But I thank God for the glimpses at its power.

And I pray for courage to follow it more often. To feel the nudges of its wisdom and see the hints of its power.

Because behind all that “foolishness” is the deepest wisdom in the universe.

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