How does it affect you when someone calls attention to your unwise choices? If we would be transparent, I think it is safe to say that most of us become very defensive. “How dare they insult my intelligence” we might think. Or we might begin reminding ourselves of all the good and wise things we feel we have done in this life in an attempt to offset the sting of someone coming against that. Pride, which is the sin that comes into play here, is both very obvious and very subtle. We long to be wise and respected so that others will think well of us and that we might think highly of ourselves. And that is why our God will not allow us to be in accordance with his word and remain prideful. Consider how the new testament refers to those at the church in Corinth.
“For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God. But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, ‘LET HIM WHO BOASTS, BOAST IN THE LORD.'” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31 NASB)
God, speaking through Paul, straight up tells the Corinthian Christians that they were not wise at all compared to most other people in the world. What a humbling thing to hear for those who will truly receive it. There were many people outside of the church that possessed far superior human wisdom than those God had called into his family. And the same could be said today. God did not rescue us from our sin because he needed some “smart people” on his team. He is not trying to compete with the wisdom of the world in any way. To think this way shows our ignorance, proving further that God did not make us a part of his family because we had something special to offer. We are like the Corinthians, foolish and weak. God has chosen to save us that he might show his glory through fools! He has chosen to save the weakest that he might shame the strong. He has chosen us as his instruments to show to the world that creation is nothing apart from its creator. His glory he will give to no other, and he intends to prove that through the foolish sinners he has redeemed.
“God has chosen” is a recurring phrase that you will see in the scripture above. We, as God’s people, are not products of our own wise decision making. That is something that is not easy to receive due to the sin of pride. It is in our nature to be self-made and self-sufficient. But the word comes against that idea and tells us that we are not products of our own design. We are products of grace for the glory of God. He chose you out of the world that he would shine through your weaknesses and glorify his name. He chose you out of the world that he might pour out his wisdom through you in spite of your foolishness.
How does he do this? “But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” By his doing, he has made us “in Christ” who is our wisdom. Any good that comes out of us in this life is actually coming out of Christ whom we are “in”. There is no more room for pride, for you are in Christ. You have no wisdom of your own, for you are in Christ. You bring no strength to the equation, for you are in Christ. God fully intends to use you to glorify his name without any of your help! All he has left you to do is boast in him! That is your only task. You are to point to him. Magnify his name for all those in your life to see that God alone is able to produce wisdom in a sinner like you. He does the work in his people, and all we are to do is worship him for it.