More than Just Foolishness

by Joanna Deffner on November 13, 2019

As my mother, sister, and I prepared to exit through the glass door, aptly prepared to embark on an outing, I playfully budged in front of both of them. Throwing open the door, I stepped out and drawled in a loud, sing-song voice: “I’m the leader. I’m the one who says when we go.” (I paused slightly for a dramatic effect, barricading the door.) “Let’s go.” 

I hurled myself headfirst with both of them laughing at my heels. Prancing awkwardly forward, with a smile cresting my face, I caught movement in the corner of my eye. I glanced to the right, and almost froze mid-stride. It took a moment for my brain to register what my eyes had seen. There, the neighbors were on their front porch, mouth agape, watching my every move. They had seen and heard my entire performance.

“Uh, hi!” I sputtered, waving my hand. “I didn’t know you guys were sitting there. I hope you enjoyed the show!” They half waved in return; a bewildered look upon their faces. Still in high spirits, I marched forward ahead of my mom and sister, who by this time were keeled over in laugher. I don’t know how long the neighbors watched my stage exit, but I definitely left them scratching their heads in wonder at my behavior.

But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged of no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:14–16, KJV).

I have the Spirit of God living in me which gives me a joy that others don’t necessarily grasp. That joy causes me to be happy when it’s perceived I should be sad. It allows me to act goofy when I should be serious. It helps me walk a straight and narrow path in a world that’s topsy-turvy.

When people don’t understand the things of God—His Word, His Spirit, His church, etc.—they recognize it as foolish. The word foolishness in the Greek is mória, which means folly, absurdity, or silliness. Those without the sweet presence of God in their lives will not understand how this joy can be manifested, because it’s only spiritually understood. Therefore, at times, what I or others do may appear foolish.

I’m not saying my behavior that afternoon wasn’t a little silly, but I don’t have to explain it or label it as acting foolish. Instead, I can continue to allow the joy of the Lord to exude from me and work on the hearts of the unlearned. I (nor you) have any reason to be ashamed when we allow God’s joy to overflow. God’s presence makes me who I am, and if I choose to allow that joy to project in a robust, albeit humorous announcement (complemented by a quirky accent), I will and the world can laugh with me.

We must realize that part of our witness is acting in a way that causes the world to question: what is it that s/he has that makes them act that way? This joy needs to be so contagious that everyone wants to experience the same. Shouldn’t we all be announcing to the world the joy of God’s presence every time we’re out and about? If you didn’t realize it yet, this can be done without actually saying those exact words. Joy has a language all of its own—and that language doesn’t have any barriers.

Lord, help us to be who you’ve called us to be and let the joy of Your presence emanate from us every day and in every way. Help us give off a joyful vibe so that others will have a desire to know Your will and Your ways. Help us to know that who we are and how we act is more than just foolishness.