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But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.  1 Corinthians 1:27-29 (ESV)

The Bible often references the fact that to God, the things the world prizes are useless, while those things the world dismisses turn out to be what matters most. In fact, this passage from Paul's letter to the church at Corinth is founded on Christianity's outrageous central claims - that the Messiah came to Earth, lived as a sinless man, died a criminal's death, rose again, and calls His followers to live like Him. As difficult as it can be to live out this calling, Jesus reminds us that when we are dismissed and hated, we should be encouraged because He was treated that way first.

 Jesus could expect unquestioning allegiance from us simply by virtue of His deity, but in His mercy, He walked this sacrificial, self-denying road first, demonstrating what a life surrendered to God's upside-down perspective looks like. When we align our sight with His, we can live freely, unencumbered by a desire for success as defined by the world.