Eloquent Wisdom

For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power. (1 Corinthians 1:17, ESV)

I was struck by this verse when I started reading 1 Corinthians again not too long ago. The author here is Paul, who wrote a good amount of the New Testament. That is, the dude knows how to communicate with "eloquent wisdom" if he wants to.

But that's not what the Corinthians needed to hear. They didn't need fancy words to come to a saving faith. They needed the cross. They needed to hear plainly that Jesus died for their sins on the cross. The Holy Spirit takes care of the rest.

I think the reason that this struck me is that I suck at doing even this. I wonder what the person I'm talking with might think if I mention Jesus, or if I have the right words. Or even worse, I don't think about how I could relate the cross to the person at all.

But is the root problem: I'm thinking about me. In my mind I have increased and Christ has decreased. M prayer is that I decrease and Christ increases, echoing the words of John the Baptist:

“He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30 ESV)