Wise Underdog

“But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty.”—1 Corinthians 1:27 (NKJV)


In the late 1960s, a popular cartoon portrayed a dog named Shoeshine Boy. This dog would step into a phone booth and transform into a crime-fighting superhero named Underdog. Like any underdog; however, his “powers” were at times inconsistent and problematic. While trying to save the world, the dog wearing a cape would cause collateral damage that sometimes complicated life. 


I’ve often wished I had a superpower. In my dreams, I picture myself marching confidently toward the enemy, lasso in hand, restoring peace and upholding truth in our crazy world. But in real life, I am more Underdog than Wonder Woman. In my own strength, I can’t save the world . . . I only create more chaos. 


It comforts me to read the gospels and realize that God often selects underdogs for His Kingdom purposes. The disciples were a motley crew of uneducated fishermen who seemed unlikely heroes. Yet, God used them to change the world. 


God pours His strength into willing vessels. The Bible is full of stories where defeat seemed certain, but God stepped in to display His power through the weakness of an obedient follower. The boy David defeated Goliath with a single stone. Gideon and a small band of brothers defeated the foe by carrying trumpets and clay pots—not swords.


When we surrender our all to God, He accepts our meager offering and multiplies our efforts to help minister to others. Remember, five thousand people ate lunch because a young boy voluntarily shared his skimpy meal.


Our weakness does not hinder us from being effectively used for God’s glory. The only quality that hampers the work of God in our lives is pride. We must set aside our self-sufficiency. Arrogant skeptics refuse to believe that a Jewish carpenter is actually the Savior of the world. They question the wisdom of God and fail to accept that He chooses to work His wonder through what the world views as weak. 


A wise underdog will step forward in faith understanding that God’s miraculous might is most evident through frailty. 


DIG: Read 2 Corinthians 12:1–10. What was Paul’s attitude about his weakness in his role as an apostle and gospel witness? 


DISCOVER: Look back at your life and take note of all the times God has worked wonders in situations where your strength was limited.


DISPLAY: Pray about how God’s glory might be displayed through your imperfections this week. How will you step out of your comfort zone and make room for God to use you as an underdog?  

About the Author

Lyli Dunbar