Can’t Win for Losing
January 17, 2006 • By Ed Wrather
Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their own craftiness”; and again, “The LORD knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” - 1 Corinthians 3:18-20.
Kevin Reeves can’t seem to win for losing. He had a friend, Christine Ryder who was depressed and wanted to die. So she agreed to pay her friend Kevin £20,000 to find a hitman to kill her. The money was to cover Kevin’s fee plus that of the killer. Kevin did make a wise choice when he failed to actually hire a hitman to kill Christine. However, Kevin is now serving a 15-month sentence for deception. The judge in the case told Kevin at the sentencing, “While it is clear you had no intention of arranging for someone to kill Mrs. Ryder and didn’t propose to do it yourself, you deceived her into believing it would happen.”
The wisdom of the world will always get you into trouble. Kevin apparently has the attitude that much of the non-Christian world has in thinking that if you can get away with something then it is okay. If you can, also, make money while getting away with something that would be even better at least in the eyes of some worldly people.
The world makes up its rules as it goes and those rules may change at the whim of those to whom the change would be beneficial. Trusting in the wisdom of the world is like building your house on sand. It may be fine for a while, but you never know when the wind will blow too hard or the water rise too high and damage the house.
The apostle Paul was actually giving a warning to the Corinthian church about trusting in their own worldly traditions or making up their own extra-Biblical rules. It is a warning still needed by the church today. We are often tempted to incorporate into our church life ideas from the business world. However, the business world operates on a black and white basis - what you see is what you get. If someone has the best resume and sounds good in an interview, you hire the person. If you have the money for a project, and it looks like it will make money, then you do it. The church is to operate on faith. Often the person God would want a church to call as their pastor is not the one with the best credentials and may not do the best in an interview or may not even be the best preacher. The determining factor must be prayer and faith. Is this the will of God? Whether the church does a project or not should not be based on whether the church has the money or does not have the money. Again, it should be based on prayer and faith. Is God in it or not. Is it God’s will? If God is in it, then it will succeed. If not the project will fail.
If it seems like you can’t win for losing perhaps you need to examine whether you are seeking to live life by the changing rules of the world or by the unchangeable wisdom of God. “If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise.” The world of today would call most of the great men and women of the Bible fools. The world laughed at Noah. The people of Jericho must have laughed at those crazy Israelites as they marched around Jericho. Potiphar’s wife probably laughed at Joseph for rejecting her advances as he was hauled off to prison. The people of the court must have thought that Esther was crazy for risking her life - “For such a time as this.”
The people of the world may laugh at you and call you a fool, but no one is foolish who is obedient to the will and wisdom of the Lord.