“…and the base things of the world and the things that are despised God has chosen…
that no flesh should glory in His presence.”
1 Corinthians 1:28-29 New King James
As a teenager, I remember singing a hymn in church that said that “Jesus’ blood could make the vilest sinner clean.” I wondered whether the word, ‘vile’, was being used poetically because I couldn’t think of anyone that was really that despicable. The dictionary uses words like disgusting, wicked, entirely unpleasant, and completely worthless to define a vile person. If you add to that definition “to regard with loathing and contempt” you have the meaning of “despised”. Amazingly, these are the very people that God chooses to populate His church according to the Apostle Paul. And Paul knew something about being despised as he went from “breathing out threatening and slaughter against the disciples of the Lord” (Acts 9:1) to becoming “a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God” (Romans 1:1).
This is certainly one of the times when God’s ways of doing things are far above ours (Isaiah 55:8). I’ve lived through enough “schoolyard picks” to know that the captains of the teams pick the strongest, fastest, and most talented players for their side. God picks the weak, the unwise, those of inferior quality and worthy of contempt and loathing for His team. He does that so that when His team accomplishes great things it is clear that it was Him working through them and not because of their personal abilities. It’s like the movie “Bad News Bears” where the kids from the wrong side of the tracks and with little athletic ability win the ballgame. We cheer for the underdogs. I find myself cheering for the ex-prisoners as they slowly but surely start putting their lives back together with God’s help and the support of Christian mentors. Mentors are often criticized for spending time with the “despised”, but God is the one who chose them for His team so coaching them to victory is the least that we can do!