Repentance and Faith for the Idolization of Success
Mark 10:25 Jesus said to them, "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the kingdom of God."
An interesting phenomenon is found in every professional sport. The fans and media follow the story lines of the winners and the stories of the defeated times are ignored and forgotten.
Corresponding to this, Winston Churchill famously said, "History is written by the victors." Victors place their interpretation on events, and the study of history is often simply a chronology of winners. History follows the stories of those with power and wealth and largely ignores everyone else.
Yet, when we encounter Christianity we find that it is the exact opposite. Jesus' ministry transpired in a backwater region of the Roman Empire. He didn't possess the noble birth, education, political power, or wealth which makes someone a factor in this world. His life ended in being arrested, tried, flogged, and hung from a Roman gibbet. In the world's terms he was a loser.
Yet, what appeared to us as weakness, folly, poverty, and failure was the very means God ordained to accomplish His eternal plan. Furthermore, redemptive history has progressed along the same lines through the centuries.
God chose Abram, with his old age and barren wife, to be the father of a great nation. He chose the nation of Israel, not Egypt, Babylon, or Greece, to reveal His law and covenants. He took Joseph from the dungeon, Moses from the wilderness, and David from the pasture.
When you come to a local church, does it feel weak and frail? Do the people seem mostly uncool and average? Know that God uses what appears weak and frail to accomplish his purposes. Know that God works mostly through the uncool and average.
What about your weakness, inadequacy, immaturity, folly, and sin? Have you embraced them and learned to boast in them because they prompt you to reply completely on Jesus Christ as your righteousness, wisdom, and strength?
Have you learned to distrust your strengths? You may be smarter, better looking, physically stronger, or more socially adroit than others. Yet, if your area of strength causes you to trust in yourself and not to rely upon Jesus Christ, then it is a snare to you.
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is good news to the poor, to sinners, to outcasts, and to losers. It grows best in the lives of people marginalized by the world.
1 Corinthians 1:26-27 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.