“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.” – 1 Corinthians 1:18
I have yet to meet a person who enjoys being disliked or thought a fool. We don’t even like being thought as fools when we have acted like one! It hurts, it’s demeaning, and it’s difficult to be made to feel that way. Yet here we are as Christians commissioned to carry a message that many will think is foolishness. And since most people are unable to disconnect the message from the messenger, we will often be regarded as fools because of what we believe.
If we think about this one element of our flesh, wanting to be liked or accepted, we soon realize that this drives our words and actions far more than we care to admit. We say certain things in order to be accepted, and we do and don’t do other things in hopes of being accepted. The sense of loneliness that can arise from being disliked is avoided at almost any cost, and many will do anything to be “in” with those they deem acceptable or popular. No one, whether young or old, likes to be an outcast.
This innate human desire for acceptance is something the enemy tries to exploit to his advantage and use against us in hopes of silencing us. Think about it. What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you think of sharing your faith with someone? Isn’t it, “What are they are going to say?” Or, “What are they going to think?” Even though we know the message of the cross is the power that saved us and the message that changed us, we are still guarded when we share it, because of our fear of not being accepted.
So how do we overcome human nature in this area? I don’t think we need to overcome it, really. I think we just need a bit of a “peer adjustment.” Rather than worrying about being out of the in-crowd if we share the gospel, why not see our efforts to preach the cross of Christ as putting us in the right crowd? That way we wouldn’t be so concerned about what others think. When we share our faith, some on earth may indeed think it foolishness, but the fact is, we have put ourselves in with a great cloud of witnesses (Heb. 12:1).
You are not an outcast when people reject you and think you are a fool for following Jesus. You are in company with the likes of Paul and Peter, John and James, C. H. Spurgeon, and D. L. Moody. You’re thrown in with Billy Graham and Billy Sunday. You’re running with the likes of G. Campbell Morgan and the Wesley brothers. You’re peers with Hudson Taylor and David Livingstone. Funny thing is, no one remembers those who labeled the preaching of these men as foolishness, but now hundreds and even thousands of years later, here we are, still remembering their names because they preached the cross of Christ.
You’re not in the out crowd, friend when people reject you and think you a fool for Jesus. You just joined the in-crowd of all-in-crowds, the one that people still talk about today. Be bold and share your faith, for the cross is the power of God unto salvation!
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