If you want to grow spiritually in your relationship with God, it is important that you look foolish.
Noah looked foolish building an ark in a place with no water where there had not been any rain. Sarah looked foolish preparing to have a baby when she was 90 years old. The Israelites looked foolish blowing trumpets and marching around the city of Jericho. Benaiah looked foolish when he went into a pit, with a lion, on a snowy day. Gideon looked foolish when he reduced his army from 32,000 soldiers down to 300. People probably thought Jesus was foolish when he told the man who hadn’t walked for 38 years to get up and start walking. David looked foolish when he went up against Goliath. Part of following Jesus is the willingness to look foolish.
Some people have never killed a giant, or walked on water, or seen walls come tumbling down because they weren’t willing to look foolish. Some of the greatest breakthroughs in the world were accomplished by people who were willing to look foolish. Dick Fosbury revolutionized the high jump at the 1968 Summer Olympics with a new style people called the Fosbury Flop. This flop was one of the greatest successes in sports. Today, every high jumper uses the Fosbury Flop. In 1 Corinthians 1:27 it says “God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise.” It’s important that we look foolish.
Our society keeps trying to make us conform. It uses peer pressure to get all of us to act alike. But, Romans 12:2 says, “Do not be conformed to the patterns of the world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” God wants us to stand out from the world. He wants us to be different. That means, sometimes we will look foolish. The world doesn’t understand how we can have Republicans and Democrats in the same church and all get along, but it happens all the time. The world doesn’t understand how we can have black and white and brown and yellow in the same church and all get along, but it happens all the time. The world doesn’t understand how we can have rich and poor, and the highly educated and the lowly educated (I love the lowly educated by the way – LOL) in the same church and all get along, but it happens all the time.
When you get excited about Jesus, don’t expect everybody else to get excited too. When the Holy Spirit turns up the heat underneath you, it disrupts the status quo. Some people will be inspired by what God is doing in your life. Others will be convicted. And they will mask their personal conviction by finding something to criticize. 9 times out of 10, criticism is a defense mechanism. We criticize in others what we don’t like about ourselves.
Part of spiritual maturity is caring less and less about what people think about you and more and more about what God thinks about you. Jesus was criticized by the religious leaders of his day for spending so much time with sinners, tax collectors, and prostitutes. It bothered them. It didn’t bother Jesus. They thought Jesus looked foolish. Jesus didn’t care. He knew the people needed him. They were open to him. They listened to him. And some of their lives were changed.
Part of being a follower of Jesus is the importance of looking foolish. We don’t expect the world to understand everything we do and why we do it. But, that’s OK. The Bible tells us that God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise. Doing the will of God is never foolish. But faith is the willingness to look foolish, and when you step out in faith, some people will think you are foolish. God keeps turning our world upside down and inside out. When we don’t care how we look, and when we don’t care who gets the credit, the stage is set for God to do some amazing things. I wonder what amazing things God is planning on doing in our lives this month? If we are following Jesus, we will look foolish.