In Hebrews 11 it says, “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.”
You know what my problem with faith is? It makes me look like a fool.
Yep, that’s right. And I don’t like looking like a fool.
I don’t like the way I look when I have to ask for forgiveness. I don’t like the way it makes me vulnerable to that person, the way I have to admit that I mess up sometimes, the way I have to admit I’ve done something that contradicts what I say I believe, the way I have to draw attention to my failure and weakness. It makes me look like a fool — and sometimes even to people I am older than, more mature than, wiser than, and in charge of!
I don’t like the way I look when I am 1% in the wrong and someone else is 99% in the wrong and I have to focus on my own sin and ask for forgiveness for my part instead of showing them how wrong they are! I don’t like having to forgive in that situation, I don’t like feeling like I’m letting someone “get away” with something, I don’t like having to take 100% responsibility for my part of the problem, I don’t like taking the log out of my own eye first. I’d rather take the LOG out of that person’s eye first. And working on my part of the problem would often be SO much easier if they took care of theirs. I would rather function on a “if then” equation. IF you shape up, THEN I will too. That would look far less foolish.
I don’t like having to return a blessing for a curse when someone’s been mean to me or hurt me. I don’t like the way it makes me look like I actually care about them or think about them when I go out on a limb to try to be kind to them when everything in me would rather protect myself, hurt them in return, or at least make them think I don’t care they exist. I don’t like the way it opens me up to be hurt by them again. Instead I look like a fool who doesn’t have any self-respect or self-worth because I’m willing to let people treat me however they’d like.
I don’t like having to pray and actually believe God hears me and will answer me. I would rather just be realistic about life and not get disappointed. It’s much easier to just take life circumstances as they are and not ask God for anything. I would feel much less foolish if I never expected that when I pray God would actually change me enough to make me sacrifice for others even though I love myself too much. Or that God would change an entire generation of emasculated men who haven’t been trained to be men into courageous leaders, who provide, protect, and love their wives and families and churches and train other men to do the same. Or to believe I can pray and He can change an entire culture’s low view of marriage and the family that has seeped in so deeply to the church. Or to believe I can pray and He could bring me a husband who doesn’t run from my flaws and imperfections and irrational fear about relationships. Or to counsel people and believe that because I am praying for them God will give them victory over their sin and produce lasting, radical change in them by the Holy Spirit and the Word. Nope. Because we all know you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, and we are creatures of habit, and change is hard…..so I feel like a fool when I believe God will do those things. Very unrealistic.
I don’t like having to expect the best of people who I know are liars, deceivers, fakers, schmoozers, and cowards. I don’t like assuming they are honest, genuine, sincere, courageous, and loving because I end up looking like a just another fool that got duped.
I don’t like having to look back on my sin and failure and confess it but also move on from it. I would much rather be in denial about it or spend my time in self-loathing and condemnation. I don’t like having to believe that God can use even my sin to bring about the good He promises to in my life. I don’t like not trying to make up for it or pay it back and just having to be okay with my failure. I don’t like having to believe that Christ’s righteousness is enough for me and I don’t need to add to it. Nope. Cause that makes me look like a hypocritical, lazy fool.
I don’t like having to believe that justification comes by faith alone by grace alone and that sanctification is by grace alone too. I would much rather think it depends on hard work. I would feel much more satisfied with myself if it did. Instead, I have to look like a fool who believes that I can’t do a thing to produce the fruit of the spirit in my life and God has to be the one at work in me both to will and to do his good pleasure. It makes me feel so irresponsible!
I don’t like having to be quiet when someone says something I know is wrong. Or when someone says something rude and I know I could give them a lashing with my tongue and make them look real stupid. Or when I know I could get a crowd laughing if I made fun of someone in front of them all. I could come out on top in each of those situations if I only said what I was thinking! But instead, I look like a fool who doesn’t think fast enough to put them in their place. Not only that, but I have to go and repent about what I was thinking and try not to think those things!
I don’t like having to believe that marriage is good and worthy of my pursuit. Really, I don’t. I felt much better when I didn’t want to be married….because then the decision not to be married was my own. I felt much better when I was happy with the independence, freedom, and protection singleness offered me instead of being convinced I need the constraints of marriage to produce selflessness, vulnerability, gentleness and submission in me. I would feel much better now if I could just dismiss the idea of being married and focus on my ministry and life here and now. Then it would at least be settled in my head. Instead I have to look like a fool and live as though I’m planning to be married even though there is no groom in sight! And I have to tell girls what a high and noble pursuit marriage is….as a single woman. Boy howdy, do I know what a fool I look like!
I don’t like looking like a fool in what I wear, how I spend my money, in what I’ve chosen as my profession, who I’ve chosen to spend my time with, what car I drive, where I live, what I do with my free time….none of it. Really, I don’t.
“For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” – 1 Corinthians 1:26-31