These are the great passages reminding us that the wisdom of the world is foolishness...that the weakness of God is stronger than any power of man. Human wisdom and even understanding have no duration. It is only that which we receive from God that has lasting usefulness. Paul pleads with the believers to be willing to be fools for God, to be persecuted and to suffer rather than puff themselves up. He admonishes them to be care-less for what others think...and even care-less for what they think about themselves: for life is all God!
Paul says his determination is a sole one: to know Jesus Christ and Him crucified. May that be our goal too. Nothing else matters. All we have, all we are, comes from God. All we do is in partnership with Him and requires His power to succeed. And for all that we do, the reward is grander than our puny human minds can even begin to think: