Monday, July 23, 2012

On a Mission From God: Whose Fool are You?

D.L. Moody was a famous Christian evangelist who used to walk around Chicago in the late 19th century wearing a sandwich board that stated on the front "I am a fool for Christ". On the back it stated, "Whose fool are you?"

One of the primary reasons Christians don't evangelize is because doing so in our multi-cultural, super-rational, "free to be me" society, makes us feel that we look foolish. We worry more about what we will look like to others and less that we have a message that can bring hope and healing to those around us.

I am guilty of this myself. As a Presbyterian pastor, I value education, intellect, and questioning authority. Sometimes I don't open my mouth to share the hope of salvation with others because I worry that some people might think I am a fool for believing in a God that I can't prove empirically.

It is this thought pattern that really makes me foolish. If I put the opinions of the world ahead of the opinion of God, then I am indeed a fool. If I am going to be a fool for anyone - and in the end all of us will be - I would rather be a "fool" for the God that created me, knows me and loves me anyway...even when I am a fool for the world instead of for Him.

When I am a fool for God, I am not foolish as the world defines it, meaning absurd or stupid, but completely and utterly dependent on the one who has saved me from myself.

When we can allow ourselves to be utterly dependent on the one who WAS and IS and IS TO COME, then we will be able to open ourselves to share His grace with a broken and hurting world. Sometimes these moments last only a few minutes or hours, sometimes a few days, but those few moments allow us to trust and rely on Him more as time passes and care less and less about how we stack up in this world.

God, help me to be a fool for you rather than a foolish slave to the demi-gods we have created to take your place. Help me to rely on your guidance, rather than my own and to open my mouth and let your words pour forth. Help me to be used by YOU - an instrument to bring grace and peace rather than greed and corruption. Help me to battle the desires that lead me away from You and bring me to the place where my need to control and contrive disappear.

If you claim to be a disciple of Jesus, then this is our 'work': To reduce ourselves in order to increase Him. In doing so we will fulfill the mission that we have been given - to go forth, sharing the good news of Jesus Christ and by doing so, make new disciples.

Chesney Szaniszlo

"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. For it is written:  “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

Where are the wise? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? '- 1 Corinthians 1:18-20