Wise Foolishness

Adam Stout

READ : 1 Corinthians 1:18-31

Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? (v. 20)

A brown strip of dirt runs through my otherwise green backyard. From time to time I see
mousy-brown sparrows come down and form a line in the dirt. Then they do something
strange. They roll around in the dirt like a herd of little, feathered pigs. It’s a
curious thing to behold. Why would they make themselves dirty when there’s a birdbath

Following Christ sometimes is similarly counterintuitive. No wonder we appear backward
to much of the world. Jesus tells us to believe a number of seemingly absurd paradoxes:
that we must die to live. That we must let go in order to gain. That the least are the
greatest and the last first. When we embrace these truths we seem to the world as silly as
sparrows in the dirt.

But the sparrows have their reasons. They get dirty to become clean. The dust repels
insects and cleans the excess oils off the bird’s feathers. Water can’t do the same thing.
So there is wisdom to it. I doubt if the sparrows know exactly why they roll in the dirt.
They only know that it feels right. Likewise, we may not understand why we must die to
ourselves in order to live or why becoming a slave of Christ brings freedom. But when we
act on it, we receive the life and freedom promised. And we give thanks to a God who is
wiser than we are.


Lord, you are our wise, loving God. Lead us to your wisdom, though it appears

foolishness to the world.