Foolishness of Man's Wisdom


Mensa is an organization whose members have an IQ of 140 or higher. A few years ago, there was a Mensa convention in San Francisco, and several members lunched at a local cafe. While dining, they discovered that their saltshaker contained pepper and their peppershaker was full of salt. How could they swap the contents of the bottles without spilling, and using only the implements at hand? Clearly this was a job for Mensa! The group debated and presented ideas, and finally came up with a brilliant solution involving a napkin, a straw, and an empty saucer. They called the waitress over to dazzle her with their solution.

"Ma'am," they said, "we couldn't help but notice that the peppershaker contains salt and the saltshaker...."

"Oh," the waitress interrupted. "Sorry about that." She unscrewed the caps of both bottles and switched them.

We live in a world, like the Greek culture of the first century, that prides itself on being "wise." We have achieved so much in the area of technology. We've set up a space station that orbits the earth. We've visited the moon. We've taken close-up pictures of Mars. We feel confident that we are able to figure out the answer to almost every problem that is presented to us, if we work on it long enough.

And yet, like the Greek culture of the first century, our own culture -- which takes such pride in its own wisdom -- seems unable to understand that which is truly wise. Solving the great problem of mankind doesn't involve eliminating poverty, preventing global warning, or even making world peace possible. No, those who are "wise" in this world seem blind to what the world's biggest problem is -- our separation from God. And those with less earthly wisdom are often more open to God's solution to that problem, which is centered in the cross of Jesus Christ. Paul put it this way:

"For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.' Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength." (I Corinthians 1:18-25, NIV)

The "foolishness" of God truly is wiser than man's wisdom! Be reminded of that the next time you see salt and pepper shakers.

Have a great day!

Alan Smith Innisfil, ON, Canada

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