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Foolishness

28 Jun

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My brother and I sometimes laugh about the word “fool,” because it is so potent and descriptive, and we can all relate to it to one extent or another.  To me, the essence of a fool is not someone without understanding, but without the ability or willingness to be corrected and to gain understanding.1  In that way, foolishness is empowered by pride.  If you are on the wrong path but refuse to even consider another way or receive correction, what hope is there for you?  Until you are humbled, there is none.  A few weeks ago, I came across this clip from the TV show “The Office.”  While funny, the catch is that a true fool or “idiot” wouldn’t genuinely stop and reconsider their ways to begin with, and many life their entire natural life in such a foolish state, with some calling it righteousness, others “reason.”

What I really want to explore is the idea that the ways of God/the Spirit are and always will be foolish to the “world” (meaning all that has its origin in Adam through the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil).  On a practical level, this means that if you are walking in the Spirit, in righteousness, and loving your neighbor as yourself, your actions and values will very often appear foolish, both to others and even to (the rational/soulish/fleshly part of) yourself!  Decisions and actions which don’t take self into account in any way seem foolish to everyone and everything outside of the Spirit and love.  But read the scriptures below, especially Jesus’ words, and you’ll see that to love, you have to be “foolish.”  As I’ve said many times, the way of self/Adam/the flesh/the world is always selfish at its core,  in one way or another.   

Elaborating further, I’m convinced that the ways of God/Spirit do not take self into account at all.  Scripture attests quite plainly that in the eyes and mind of God/Spirit, self (also called Adam or flesh or soul or the natural man or the old man or the world) is dead, irrelevant, crucified, put out of sight and out of mind.  This isn’t to say self/flesh doesn’t still have some place within us or exert an influence on the earth, it just means they have no influence or effect on the Spirit.  The Spirit doesn’t reward good flesh, punish bad flesh, or have any other “response” to flesh – it bypasses flesh totally because flesh is dead.  In this way, the law has no claim on a son of God.  Have you ever wondered why God doesn’t smite us right away when we “sin,” or clearly reward us when we’re doing good?  God doesn’t relate to us based on our religious devotion or lack thereof.

The apostle Paul has a reputation as intellectual, deep, blunt and harsh, all of which are true.  But, if you read his letters closely, you’ll see he was also first and foremost a man of deep love.  For example*:

(1 Corinthians 4:10-13)“We (those sent by God) are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You have honor, but we have dishonor. Even to this present hour we hunger, thirst, are naked, are beaten, and have no certain dwelling place. We toil, working with our own hands. When people curse us, we bless. Being persecuted, we endure. Being defamed, we entreat. We are made as the filth of the world, the dirt wiped off by all, even until now.” 

(Ephesians 5:1-2)“Be therefore imitators of God, as beloved children. Walk in love, even as Christ also loved you, and gave himself up for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling fragrance.”

(Romans 12:10, Romans 13:8, 1 Corinthians 16:14, Galatians 5:13-14, Colossians 3:12-14)

  • “In love of the brothers be tenderly affectionate one to another; in honor preferring one another…” 
  • “…owe no one anything, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor has fulfilled the law.” 
  • “…Let all that you do be done in love.” 
  • “…For you, brothers, were called for freedom. Only don’t use your freedom for gain to the flesh, but through love be servants to one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word, in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 
  • “…Put on therefore, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, a heart of compassion, kindness, lowliness, humility, and perseverance; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, if any man has a complaint against any; even as Christ forgave you, so you also do. Above all these things, walk in love, which is the bond of perfection.”

Jesus also emphasized the way of foolish love:

(Matthew 5:39-48)“But I tell you, don’t resist him who is evil; but whoever strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also. If anyone sues you to take away your coat, let him have your cloak also. Whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and don’t turn away him who desires to borrow from you. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor, and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who mistreat you and persecute you, that you may be children of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the just and the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? If you only greet your friends, what more do you do than others? Don’t even the tax collectors do the same? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.”

(Matthew 20:25-28):  “But Jesus summoned them, and said, “You know that the rulers of the nations lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you, but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. Whoever desires to be first among you shall be your bondservant, even as the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

(John 15:12-13):  “This is my commandment, that you love one another, even as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.”

Ok, so let’s make this practical again. There is no way that in ourselves, in our old nature, lower nature, nature of Adam, our flesh, our religion, whatever you want to call it, will ever be able to do this in sincerity.  Instead, the self tends to create or follow a religion or belief system which allows for righteousness without faith and without love.  The result attracts the soul and ego of men, but not the Spirit.  One way to discern between religion and the Spirit is that religion compels men with duty, threats and rewards.  If you are “loving” with any of these things mixed in, what you are calling love isn’t love.  Genuine love, in the Spirit, doesn’t compel, it is a nature, it’s natural

We MUST both see and walk in the Spirit, no matter what appears “right” or “logical” or even “scriptural” to our natural minds.  Only in the Spirit is the flesh nullified and faith, hope and love exist.  If we can connect with God within, with our higher nature there, we will find love is at the core of who we are.   As those who truly follow Christ walk in this sacrificial, radical love, especially for one-another, Jesus said men will know we are truly from him and not just adherents of another man-made religion with lots of dogma but little substance.  Get alone with God, humble yourself, seek Him without any selfish agenda, and genuine changes will start to happen  : )

 

  1. https://www.biblegateway.com/quicksearch/?qs_version=KJV&quicksearch=fool+heart&begin=24&end=24

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Posted by on June 28, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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