Looking Like Fools
I tend to take my mistakes pretty hard and often walk away from them feeling like a fool. Maybe you are like me. Or maybe you are more at ease with mistakes than I am. Either way, I am willing to bet that you have done something in your life – whether work of play – where you have felt as though you looked like a fool.
That feeling of foolishness is uncomfortable. It’s like a little embarrassment and shame accompanied with some regret and anxiety. And usually we want to stay as far from such feelings as possible. And yet…
Foolishness can be a good thing! In fact, foolishness can mean being playful, silly and open to learning. You see, if we are not afraid to fail, not anxious about what other people think, not defeated because of a error, then we can learn from our mistakes, laugh at ourselves and enjoy being silly.
And I think this is some of what Paul had in mind when writing 1 Corinthians 1.
Back to those mistakes that make me feel foolish. The wisdom of the world says that mistakes are bad – they cost money, they waste time, they show incompetence. So, mistakes are just foolish. But Paul says that:
God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.
1 Corinthians 1:27
God, our Creator, certainly knows that mistakes are a part of life. And so God took our mistakes and gave us the ability to learn from them and enjoy the humor of making them. And this is true not just of our mistakes, but of many things that the conventional wisdom of the world would look down upon.
At the end of the day, I think Paul is trying to help us understand that God is all about using for good what the world would devalue and cast aside. I wonder how it would change me – and you – if we learned to see God in the things that the world sees as foolish. Maybe we would be more open to mistakes, grow a bit wiser from making them and begin to enjoy looking like a fool.
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