To Be a Fool For Christ is a Great Ambition

Scalia b and d dates

Being a fool for Christ is a great ambition.

Unfortunately, most professing believers in Christ don’t want the job.

The context for this oft quoted excerpt from deceased Supreme Court Justice, Antonin Scalia was not a judicial opinion, but a prayer breakfast at the First Baptist Church in Jackson, Mississippi (April 9, 1996). The Justice (a Catholic) had been invited to address a group of Christian lawyers and law students about their common faith. In that context, he summarized the apostle Paul’s argument in 1 Corinthians 4 about the price the Apostles paid to give the world the gospel.

“God assumed from the beginning that the wise of the world would view Christians as fools…and He has not been disappointed. Devout Christians are destined to be regarded as fools in modern society. We are fools for Christ’s sake. We must pray for courage to endure the scorn of the sophisticated world. If I have brought any message today, it is this: Have the courage to have your wisdom regarded as stupidity. Be fools for Christ. And have the courage to suffer the contempt of the sophisticated world.”

~ Justice Antonin Scalia

The Justice was right.

We need to embrace in our time, what has always been true in every time since the gospel made its appearance. Our strength is not in politics, military might, protest marches, political activism, or financial resources.

Our strength is in our utter dependence on Christ. Our strength is not in our power but our weakness, not in our strength but His.

This is what the apostle wrote about in passages like 1 Corinthians 1:20-30 and 2 Corinthians 12:9-10. It was the lesson he learned when he was dealing with his own weakness. 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Do you know the experience of being weak to become strong? God said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient.” His grace is sufficient in the spiritual battle to win the world to Christ, by the love of Christ, and for the glory of Christ. It is.

But I think most Christians don’t believe it. I include myself. At times, I struggle with believing that weakness can be a pathway for strength. But the Scripture does not err. Jesus didn’t lie to Paul. “His power is made prefect in weakness.”

So while the world struggles for power and political party, let’s check our hearts and make sure that we are trusting in Him and loving everyone for Him, so that everyone will see Him and not us when we appear weak.

Let’s be fools for the sake of Christ and the joy of those who will find Him when we rely on His power rather than ours. The Justice was right. We are fools for Christ.

Scalia quote


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