Folly

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV)

Folly. Foolishness.

I remember stepping up onto the cement rim of a raised decorative garden at the end of State Street at the University of Wisconsin. It was the late ’80s, and the Gospel was about as unpopular as at any time on a liberal campus. I was terrified, knowing that I was facing ridicule; but I steeled my resolve, certain that God had directed me to stand up there and share Jesus.

I wouldn’t have been the first one to speak his peace at this location. I’d heard a lot of ideas and religious views presented there. But I also knew from experience that few people actually stuck around to hear what anyone had to say; and those that did weren’t always the kindest.

As best as I can recall, I presented the “Romans Road,” a scriptural pathway to salvation. “For all have sinned…. The wages of sin is death…. Etc.” I knew that most of those who passed by thought I was some religious freak; but I didn’t care. I knew that some would stop and listen; and some did. I presented them with an opportunity to make a decision for Jesus. I wasn’t surprised when no one took advantage of my offer. I knew that I really wasn’t the One they were rejecting. When I finished my short sermon, I closed my Bible and stepped back down. I prayed for the “seed” of the Word to take root and grow.

“For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18 (ESV)

When I re-read those words today my mind went quickly to that day on the square. It was my first time doing anything like that, and it wouldn’t be the last. But life happens, and it’s been a long time since I have been anywhere near as bold in my witness. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure I am all that great of a witness anymore.

I forgot that the “word of the cross” is the “power of God.” The world doesn’t understand. How can it? To them, it is nothing but folly. To them, the cross makes no sense. But that makes it no less imperative that we tell them.

Whether one-on-one, on a crowded campus square, or in a 100,000 seat stadium, we must give direction and life to a lost and dying world! The word of the cross is far too precious to keep to ourselves.

At times, I’ve spoken boldly. And at times, I have hidden my treasure, keeping it close to my chest. These are desperate times, and they call for strength and compassion.

If our lives are not in order, it is time to get them in order. But we can no longer hide our light under a basket (Matthew 5:15).

As always, these are the musings of a mindful disciple. Blessings on your week!

Image by CandidShots on Pixabay

2 thoughts on “Folly

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  1. More and more I think we have to “earn” the right to communicate the Gospel with people by first seeking to listen to and serve them… which is why most of my witnessing to non-Christians these days happens in the context of funerals in which I first have the opportunity to serve a family by helping them say “good-bye” to their loved one. I know that a lot of people are less than interested in my faith in Jesus (it does seem like foolishness), but I’ve earned the right to share it by first listening to and caring for them. All of which is why we are likely to have the greatest Gospel influence in the work place and with groups of friends where people get to know us and we build relationships. That doesn’t mean though that witnessing is ever easy as there will always be relationship risk with people thinking we’re fools. We share Jesus anyway!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I couldn’t have said it better! “People won’t care about what you know until they know how much you care.“ But we must also be ready and willing to share our faith when opportunity arises and the Spirit leads, even at the cost of being deemed fools.

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