In starting this third chapter of the letter, Paul calls out the foolishness of his friends in Galatia. We don’t know (from this letter) how long it has been since Paul and his friends have seen each other, but he minces no words with them, calling them “foolish” and “bewitched.” How friendly. But thank God for friends who’ll speak blunt truths to us.
We aren’t so different; you know this. Have you ever considered the ways in which we let ourselves get bewitched by the world? That’s one of Satan’s most effective tactics. He constantly uses what we know against us, baiting and switching known truths for unknown lies. Don’t believe me? Well, have you ever really ever tried to ‘have it all’ and walked away less than full? It’s exhausting to pursue the goal of having it all (of possessing wealth, power, fame, success, and independence). Nobody can do it for long…but that isn’t what the world – Satan – tells us. No, he says “you can do it! You really can have it all! You just aren’t trying hard enough!”
Foolishness; foolish, as in failing to use God-given perception and intelligence. They’re lies from the prince of lies, and we accept them. We make mistakes; we get distracted by the glitter. What can refocus us? You know the answer.
Jesus Christ was crucified for you and me. Every agonizing hammer blow that nailed through His hands and feet nailed our foolishness to His cross. Every minute He innocently hung there in agony, He offered his waning life as a sacrifice to His Father for all the stupid things we say and do. His last breath He gave so that the billions of people before and after Him might have a clear atonement for all the wrong we’d ever done or will do.
But that was only Friday. It was only the end of His earthly ministry and the beginning of something much, much bigger. On Sunday, He rose for you and me, too. That’s the strongest of Paul’s indictment of his friends. They forgot both the crucifixion and the resurrection, and embraced, instead, the vain foolishness of old ways and sinful practices.
You foolish Galatians. You foolish Americans. And Ugandans, Romanians, Ukranians, Russians, whoever. We are indeed foolish to choose the sin over the savior; we’re foolish to forget the forgiveness while embracing the illusion of fun. We’re foolish to ignore the solid advice of good friends. I wish we had more friends like Paul. Then again, in reading his words today, maybe we still do.
For further reading: Luke 24:25, Acts 16:6, 1 Corinthians 1:23, Galatians 3:2
Lord Jesus, forgive my foolishness and teach me Your better ways!
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