My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you! Galatians 4:19-20

Most people have experienced THAT moment. What moment? The “Why in the world did you do THAT?” moment. Every parent has experienced it. Good neighbors have experienced it. Dear friends who witness a married couple with marital problems have experienced it. Employers and employees have experienced it. Sports fans have experienced it as have team members. In fact, who has not experienced that moment?

Sometimes it is called by other names. Like what? “What were you thinking?” or “Did you really do that?” or “What did you expect?” or “Duh” moments. This moment involves such obvious consequences that you wonder why the person did not see the obvious downside. Did the person simply not think? Was the person too stubborn to know he (she) would hurt self? The confused observer mutters, “How would you NOT see that coming?”

All of us are guilty of doing stupid things and making silly decisions. The victim later asks, “Why did I do that? What was I thinking? That was a classic ‘DUH’ moment!”

Paul experienced that moment when the gentile Christians at Galatia allowed Jewish teachers to convince them that God’s gifts in Jesus Christ were unavailable to them. “We are physically descended from Abraham. We are special—consider what God did for us in Egypt, at the Red Sea, in the wilderness, and in Canaan. God gave us the Law, scripture, and the prophets—what has He given you? Listen to us; we understand God! We have answers—you don’t! We know your shortcomings! All you need to know now is how desperately you need us! Without our knowledge you cannot possibly understand Jesus Christ! If you are serious about understanding God’s accomplishments in Jesus Christ, listen to us and follow our instructions.”

Paul was deeply confused and anguished. Galatian Christians understood what God did for them in Jesus Christ at their conversion. What happened? Why now put their confidence in human acts instead of divine achievements? Why now think the key to relationship with God was found in human acts instead of divine achievements?

Wonder how often God looks at us and says “DUH!” The key to grasping how much God loves you is found in understanding Jesus Christ. The key to understanding how much God wants salvation for you is found in understanding what God did in Jesus Christ. The key to knowing relationship with God is found in understanding what God did in Jesus Christ. Avoid “DUH” moments by understanding Jesus Christ!

David Chadwell

West-Ark Church of Christ, Fort Smith, AR
Bulletin Article, 5 March 2009

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