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Don’t Get Smart with Me

I have a confession: sometimes my kids really bug me. For those who are parents, that is not going to be a shocking statement, but the reason they bug me might be odd to you.

I like subtlety and finding clever ways to say things. Sarcasm can be part it, but that’s not the whole thing. It’s fun for me to think of ways to say things without having to just come out with it, whether it’s in trying to be amusing or drawing attention to something.

The problem is two of my kids have a neurological deficiency that makes this impossibly frustrating–for them and for me. While I’m trying to be clever, they need concrete instructions or correction.

The same scenarios play out over and over as my lovely wife will remind me, “You have to just tell them. They don’t understand.”

I’m working on it.

I do know it’s good for me because God has built into my life a reminder of an important truth.

Paul said that Christ sent him “to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.” –1 Corinthians 1:17

Sometimes I think we can try so hard to be relevant and clever with how we present the Gospel (whether in preaching or in everyday conversations) when we need to press into the power of its reality instead.

There’s nothing wrong with cleverness, but it’s not going to accomplish eternal purposes. I don’t want to void the cross of Christ and lose the heart of the message because I’m beating around the bush with my subtleties.

For the word 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,
AND THE CLEVERNESS OF THE CLEVER I WILL SET ASIDE.” –1 Corinthians 1:18-19

You and I have a litany of justifications. You don’t want to offend. You can’t just come out talk about Jesus. Religion is personal, and you don’t have the right to intrude into someone else’s life.

Our subtle excuses and clever comebacks may comfort us at times, but people may just be missing a real experience with Jesus. If they can’t accept it and see it as foolishness, that’s not yours to be concerned with. You are to live out and present the straightforward Gospel in word and action (and yes, we can be clever with our action/inaction as well–I know this all too well).

So… are you ready to allow Him to set aside your cleverness? Who do you need to show and/or tell the cross of Christ to today?

 

12 Comments

  1. Lord, help me never to confuse your Word with my “cleverness”. May your truth always be foremost evident in my life, my speech, and my love.
    Dusty Rayburn recently posted..We Write This to Make Our Joy CompleteMy Profile

    • Amen! Thank you, Dusty.

  2. I don’t find you all that clever. ;-) Kidding of course……. I think it’s good that you brought action/inaction into at as well. No matter what we say, cleverly disquesed or straightfoward it always goes back to our actions that give us away anyway. It’s the ones that have taken the gospel and lived it out while they were speaking it no matter the size of their audience that I’ve always admired. P.s. you’re one of them.
    Philip recently posted..The PresentMy Profile

    • Thank you so much, Philip. And I don’t think I’m all that clever either! I just said I try. :)

  3. There will be times in our walk with God where we think where clever. But in reality where not, just like your kids I have some problems with some deficiencies.Put I have learn that without the wisdom of the Holy Ghost we aren’t clever where stupid. I don’t know if you can feel it in Alaska but here in the lower 48 states we see more & more of the Babylon system creeping it’s ugly head into our society but I know for sure it will not last. The day is coming when the wealth of Babylon is coming into the hands of the righteous.
    andrew singh recently posted..Christmas-Winterland Photo ExtravaganzaMy Profile

    • Amen. The power and wisdom of the Holy Spirit covers every lack in our lives, brains, or whatever. The world and its system only brings death, but He leads us in the way of understanding and blessing! Thanks Andrew.

  4. I once thought sarcasm was a spiritual gift of mine…thankfully the Father worked that out of my system quickly! I bring to the cross a great need of Him…to refine me, to define me and to let all that is not of Him…go.

    Thanks for the lesson bro’!
    Jay Cookingham recently posted..The Face of LoveMy Profile

    • I’m not nearly as sarcastic as I used to be! I once was fluent though. :) And yes, to the cross we go. We have died to live being crucified with Him so that we no longer live but He lives through us! Thank you, Jay.

  5. There was a time that I would justify my actions, or lack thereof. I had a friend and pastor that has such a pure heart he would constantly be willing to speak truth into the lives of others, even while we were at the gym working out. It made me uncomfortable back then, now, partly because of his example, I’m one of the people that if I sense God’s leading, I’m sharing. In fact, for me now, I have found that I might speak out in flesh too quickly and strongly.

    I too love to banter, answer quickly testing my wit, and trying to be clever… it drives my kids crazy… Maybe sometimes you can have too much of a good thing…
    floyd recently posted..DO ROCKS LIE?My Profile

    • You’re right--straightforward and offensive are not the same thing. If we don’t have and express ourselves in love, we have nothing. We can never forget that.

      And too much wit and banter? I don’t know about that one. Okay… yeah, maybe. :) Thanks Floyd.

  6. I just hold on to the fact that God has called the foolish and base things of the world to confound the wise. With that I know that if anything clever comes out of my mouth it is from God. When I get in the way with my cleverness, I end up making a fool of myself. The older I get, the easier it becomes to accept and admit my weakness and foolishness.
    Mike recently posted..Comment on How About Some Better Affirmations! by Sue ShantaMy Profile

    • Absolutely, His cleverness is wonderful. Mine seems to fall short… well, always. I’m glad the longer I know and love Him, the more I can receive His strength and wisdom. Thanks Mike.