For I decided to know nothing among you
except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
1 Corinthians 2:2 ESV
It is that time of year again. The time where we make choices that will hopefully be starting points to the change we want to see in our lives. We have all kinds of resolutions. We want to eat better. We want to feel better. We want to be in better physical condition. We want to be kind to people all the time. We want to read books, or write books. We want to work hard to get that promotion. And the list goes on and on…
I have chosen to try to eat better this year. I go through seasons of eating good and others seasons of eating things that taste good! As an aside, I believe heaven will be filled with foods that taste amazing and are also great for you! But I am trying to cut down on the fast food, increase the numbers of salads, and maybe even try to stop eating processed food. And it is so difficult. Everything around me wants to undermine my convictions. I get hungry and a tasty hamburger is only a minute or so away. This forces me to face my convictions all the time. And the daily choice I have to make is this: do I really want to achieve that goal or do I want to satisfy my present desires?
It is with this framework that I believe we can gain some insight into what Paul is saying here in 1st Corinthians, chapter 2. If you look at verse 1, he talks about the manner in which he came to the Corinthians. He says in verse 1 that he could have come to them using high language, or wise words. Let us not forget that Paul was an extremely educated man, trained in the law in a superior manner to most if not all the people he encountered. That means, Paul could have rolled into town and chose to show off his intellect by preaching in “lofty speech or wisdom”. However, Paul (like you and me) makes a resolution. He is coming into a new season in his life. A new town with new opportunities to reinvent himself. However, the resolution that Paul makes is to humble himself for the sake of the people that he is about to come in contact with.
This is the call for you and me. What does it look like for you and me to humble ourselves to the point that everything we do proclaims the truth of Jesus in our lives? You see, Paul’s encounter with Jesus was so real and invasive that it totally changed his attitude toward the world around him. People that were once well below the status of “Saul” (who would become Paul) are now the target of Paul’s life mission. Paul gave up everything for the sake of preaching and proclaiming the goodness of Jesus to the nations.
I am not Paul. Neither are you. Breathe… However, the choice to lay down our lives for the sake of the name and renown of Jesus is the same. Our resolutions are great. To be in better physical condition or eat in a healthier manner is excellent. However, all other resolutions pale in comparison to the ultimate resolution: that we would lay down our lives for the sake of the gospel of our Lord and Savior.
Let us set our face like a flint in Isaiah 50:7 to making this the essence of who we are. We are people who create radical community for the sake of Christ’s Kingdom by proclaiming His truth to the world.