Become a Fool for Christ

Will You Become a Fool for Christ?

John Piper

Steve Newdell: editor

john piper

To be a faithful Christian — obedient to the word of God, truly wise — in Corinth, or the Areopagus of Athens where Paul was called a babbler. One of the smartest men in the first century — called a babbler.

To be a Christian, to be obedient to God’s word, to be truly wise in Corinth, in Athens, and in the halls of an academic institution, you must become a fool.

Thoughtful fools? To be sure. Hope-filled fools? To be sure. Happy fools with lots of serious joy? To be sure. But fools, nevertheless — unashamed, happy fools. Not self-pitying, not dour, not defensive, not forlorn, not miserable, not “oh-poor-me” fools, but unashamed, happy, hope-filled fools for Christ.

“Become a fool that you may become wise — a thoughtful, hopeful, happy fool for Christ.”

So, here’s the crucial question for your future: Will we be ashamed of believing what the Bible teaches when the world calls us fools or worse? Or will we out-rejoice the world, not only in spite of their insults, but because of them?

Paul said, in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “For the sake of Christ, I am content with insults.” Will we also be content?

Will we respond like the apostles when they were shamed as fools in Acts 5:41?

“They left the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be shamed for the name.” That’s a miracle! We breed miracles like that here, or we fail.

Or what about Acts 16: beaten with rods, stripped, thrown in jail; midnight, and they’re singing! Paul and Silas are singing!

It must have galled those rascals who thought, “We got rid of them.” And then there’s an earthquake to boot and it damages the jail and releases prisoners, (most of whom were probably due leniency anyway.)

Will we obey Peter’s letter when he says in 1 Peter 4:13–14, “Rejoice if you are insulted for the name of Christ, because the Spirit of glory and of God rest on you”?

Will we turn from the pitiful rewards of boasting in men, and remember, “All things are yours”? I’ll say it again: “All things are yours, whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future — all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s” (1 Corinthians 3:21–23).

Why would you boast in man or give one flip for their shaming words, unless you don’t believe it? So I exhort you, get wisdom. Become a fool, that you may become wise — a thoughtful, hopeful, happy fool for Christ


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