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?