Read Galatians 1
Focus on verse 6-7
The older I get that more efficient my forgetter becomes. At the same time I find myself remembering the weirdest trivialities from long ago. Then, of course, there is this intricate mechanism that we call selective memory, where I conveniently choose to forget certain details that might incriminate me if I were to recall them.
In today’s reading Paul begins a letter to the church in Galatia where he describes how astounded he is at their forgetfulness.
I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. (v. 6-7)
Apparently the novelty of following Jesus was beginning to wear off for some of the Galatians believers, so they began listening to some false teachers who were distorting what Paul had initially taught them, suggesting that to be genuine believers they had to also keep the Jewish law of Moses.
This introduces a question which some believers might find disconcerting. I have encountered teaching at times, which encourages believers to not become complacent in their faith. Now, it would not take very long to find supporting scriptures to to preach a sermon or teach a class that encourages believers not to become complacent. One certainly would not want to advocate complacency in the church.
On the other hand would it be spiritually healthy, and biblically accurate to be discontent? When we are continually seeking more from God – more power, more faith, more strength, etc. –it seems to have swung the pendulum to the opposite extreme. Could that be one of these “different gospels” Paul was alerting them to?
As I begin to process all this I find myself discovering that we as humans tend to have a propensity toward extremes. We find something we like and we want all of it all the time, we find something we don’t like and we don’t want any of it ever! Or maybe it is rather a propensity toward selfishness? Or perhaps both?
It would seem that our struggles are not so much a result of our forgetting what is important as it is forgetting Who is important.
God created us designed to worship Him rather than ourselves, so when we get this mixed up and begin to worship ourselves or something else, it distorts everything, and we eventually begin to malfunction. Ironically, when this happens we typically blame God for not coming through as we expected Him to, which further illustrates that we have forgotten Who it is that we are seeking to serve.