Think about your calling, brothers: not many [of you] were wise according to the flesh. Not many were powerful, not many well-born. But God chose the foolish things of the world to put the wise to shame. And God chose the weak things of the world to put the strong to shame. And God chose the lowly things of the world and the unwanted -- those who are nothing -- to bring to nothing things that are, so that no flesh might boast in the presence of God. From him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and also sanctification and redemption, in order that, just as it is written, "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord."
1 Corinthians 1:26-31
For consider your calling, brothers:
Βλέπετε γὰρ τὴν κλῆσιν ὑμῶν, ἀδελφοί,
Think about your calling, brothers:
m not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, 1 not many were powerful,
ὅτι οὐ πολλοὶ σοφοὶ κατὰ σάρκα,
Not many of you are wise according to the flesh,
οὐ πολλοὶ δυνατοί,
not many are powerful,
not many were of noble birth.
οὐ πολλοὶ εὐγενεῖς•
not many are well-born.
But n God chose what is foolish in the world
ἀλλὰ τὰ μωρὰ τοῦ κόσμου ἐξελέξατο ὁ θεός,
But God chose the foolish things of the world
to shame the wise;
ἵνα καταισχύνῃ τοὺς σοφούς,
to put the wise to shame,
o God chose what is weak in the world
καὶ τὰ ἀσθενῆ τοῦ κόσμου ἐξελέξατο ὁ θεός,
and God chose the weak things of the world
to shame the strong;
ἵνα καταισχύνῃ τὰ ἰσχυρά,
to put the strong to shame,
God chose what is low
καὶ τὰ ἀγενῆ τοῦ κόσμου
and the lowly things of the world
and despised in the world,
καὶ τὰ ἐξουθενημένα ἐξελέξατο ὁ θεός,
and the unwanted, God chose,
even p things that are not,
τὰ μὴ ὄντα,
those who are nothing,
to q bring to nothing things that are,
ἵνα τὰ ὄντα καταργήσῃ,
to bring to nothing things that are,
so r that no human being 1 might boast in the presence of God.
ὅπως μὴ καυχήσηται πᾶσα σὰρξ ἐνώπιον τοῦ θεοῦ.
so that no flesh might boast in the presence of God.
And because of him 1 you are in Christ Jesus,
ἐξ αὐτοῦ δὲ ὑμεῖς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ,
From him you are in Christ Jesus,
who became to us s wisdom from God,
ὃς ἐγενήθη σοφία ἡμῖν ἀπὸ θεοῦ,
who became to us wisdom from God,
and u sanctification
τε καὶ ἁγιασμὸς
and also sanctification
and v redemption,
so that, as it is written, w “Let the one who boasts,
ἵνα καθὼς γέγραπται• ὁ καυχώμενος
so that, just as it is written: Let the one who boasts
boast in the Lord.”
ἐν κυρίῳ καυχάσθω.
boast in the Lord.
When God calls us, and whatever he does with us, he does it to put human beings in their place. Do you worry people around you aren't impressed by what they see in you? Do you feel less gifted than others? Less charismatic? Does this discourage you? Be reminded: The things you fear most about yourself might be true. God is not beholden to anyone. Every advantage is from him. Every disadvantage is from him. Are you impressed with yourself? Are you confident in your ability to impress a congregation on a Sunday morning? Does it tickle your ego when people listen to you pray? Are you invested in making a certain grade just because you know you can? Be warned: God is committed to making human pride worthless. "I am the LORD; that is my name; my glory I give to no other" (Isa 42:8). But those who know they are weak, and the proud who are laid low, rejoice! Our jealous Lord is the very same God who is love. If we feel foolish and weak and lowly and unwanted, it is not so that we can hide our faces with shame before God and men. God calls foolish and weak and lowly and unwanted people and unites them with Christ: The wisdom of God by whom all things were created in heaven and on earth (Col 1) The righteous one who will "convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment" (John 16:8) The one who sanctifies his people by rescuing them out of the world and its arrogant values (John 17:16-17) The warrior who redeems his people with a mighty arm from a people who are stronger than they (Psalm 77:15; Jeremiah 31:11)