Back in chapter 1, Paul was talking about how God’s “foolishness” confounds human “wisdom.”
He also talked about how not many of us were “the brightest and the best” when God called us. Paul is actually saying it to the Corinthians obviously, but if we apply the Scriptures to our lives, there’s a good possibility that we’re in that lump as well, which always used to offend me. I would think, “No, that couldn’t be about me. I was one of the brightest and the best. I graduated in the top 5 of my class. I was an academic & all-state football player. I played college football. Surely, I was one of the brightest and the best.”
But then, I grew up a little bit, and I read this passage a few years later. Then, I read it a few years later. Then, I read it just yesterday. And I realized, “He’s right! I’m not one the brightest and best.”
Here’s what I mean by that: When I was shining in high school, it was in a town of 15,000 people in the middle of rural midwest America. When I was shining in college, it was at a small NAIA school. When I was shining in Bible college, it was at the smallest campus in the country. When I got out of those bubbles, I realized I was not the big influential person I thought I was. I didn’t have money and fame. I didn’t rub shoulders with heads of state or the ultra-wealthy billionaires or anybody of that caliber.
I was a no-name guy, from a no-name town, working for a small company. Sure, the company I’m in now is wildly successful. But we’re wildly successful in one small niche. We’re on the Inc.5000 list for fastest growing companies, and I’m a huge contributor to the organizations success, but… I’m not the face of the company. I’m not the sole reason for its success. And even if I was either of those things, I still wouldn’t be a big shot. The greater public, the masses, have never heard of me or our company. So no, I’m not one of “the brightest and best,” I’m not one of the influential, I’m not from a high-society family. And that makes it quite clear that any influence I have comes totally from Christ and what He has done in me.
As Paul continues these thoughts in chapter 2, I realize, as believers, we are all simply responding to God’s power and wisdom.
God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes.
God knows what He is doing. I just trust Him.
And I think that’s what Paul is going for in these first couple chapters of Corinthians. A little slice of humble pie.