Why Does God Use Foolish Things?

Have you ever felt that there was no way God could use someone like you? 

You may think that people don’t ever listen to what you have to say, or maybe you don’t have the right background or education; maybe you think you’ve made too many mistakes, are too young or too old; or perhaps you’re a baby Christian.

Do you think your limitations limit God? Seriously.

Remember what the Apostle Paul had to say to the extremely immature church in Corinth:

For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are.
— 1 Corinthians 1:26-28

The word “foolish” in Greek is moros, which can be translated “dull-witted, mentally-slow, or absurd.” Clearly, it’s not a compliment!

But notice, the word “chosen” appears three times in this text!

The truth is that God specializes in using some of the most foolish and unlikely people to accomplish His purposes. But why?

God Can’t Help It—We’re ALL Foolish

I hope that doesn’t offend you, but honestly, none of us are as clever as we think we are. Like a friend of mine once said, “I’m not the brightest crayon in the shed.” Exactly.

Can you relate? I sure can!

Look at the young boy, David, who slew the giant, Goliath, and later went on to become King of Israel? Or how about the murderer and outcast Moses, who, according to Exodus 4:10, was “slow of speech and slow of tongue” and yet God used him to deliver Israel from slavery in Egypt? Or the young teenager, Mary, who was chosen to be the mother of Christ?

How about the self-righteous persecutor of the early church, Saul, who later became the same Paul who helped spread the gospel throughout Asia and Europe? Consider Jesus’ very own selection of twelve ordinary, everyday men who changed the course of history!

Are we that different from these foolish choices who later became “heroes” of the Bible?

Consider Moses’ question to God when God selected him. In Exodus 3:11 Moses asks, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?” Indeed, who are ANY of us to be used by God?

And that’s the point! It has nothing to do with us and everything to do with Him.

God Receives the Glory Only He Deserves

Paul ends his statement to the Christians in Corinth by giving them the ultimate answer to this question of why God uses foolish things:

That no flesh should glory in His presence.
— 1 Corinthians 1:29

The amazing truth is that God likes to use the foolish to shame the wise and the weak to shame the strong because the glory justly goes to Him and Him alone! When we see ourselves as more than capable, we tend to move forward without Him, or even worse, take the credit for ourselves; yet, God alone deserves the glory.

Check out God’s response to Moses’ statement about being slow of speech and tongue (which simply meant Moses wasn’t a very good public speaker!). This response encourages me so much and I pray it encourages you as well. God says to Moses, “Who has made man’s mouth? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say” (Exodus 4:11-12).

So don’t worry about your perceived lack of influence, talent, knowledge, age, or your past. If God is extending an invitation, and you’re willing to step out in faith, no shortcoming of yours will stand in His way. Welcome to the club!


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