Message: In Galatians 1 Paul was talking to the churches about the importance of keeping the gospel pure and not listening to any other. He clarified by saying that there wasn’t another gospel, but many would try to alter it and add to it. Paul also clarified that the gospel he preached was not based on human thought and that he didn’t receive it from a human source nor was he taught the gospel by any human. It came to him by revelation of Jesus Christ. Paul went as far to say “cursed is the one” who would preach anything other than what was given by God. Something that stood out to me this time was that he went into great detail telling them that he didn’t immediately consult with anyone or even go to meet the other apostles until about three years later. This establishes that what he heard from Jesus himself was the same gospel that the other original apostles were teaching. He had been well known as a terror of opposition and persecution to the church so after his encounter with Jesus he didn’t try to go to them all and convince them of his change. Instead, he started preaching the gospel and word got back to them that the man that was once fighting against the gospel was now preaching it. What a testimony! What I really pulled from this today is that we don’t need to waste our energy trying to convince people of who we are. Our actions will do that for us. Obviously, this can go in a positive or negative direction, but Paul chose to let his testimony speak for itself and eventually the church began to trust him. I think this is true of relationships as well. Sometimes we want to fast forward the process by telling people who we are when what we really need to do is let them get to know us by what our character and consistency shows. It’s a long process but these are the things that make lifelong friendships and trust. I used to really struggle with trying to explain myself. Truth be told I still feel the struggle when I feel I have been misunderstood. I want people to know my heart and my intent but if I’m really honest, sometimes I’m blind to that too and I need God to reveal that to me so I can change. I have had to learn to allow those misunderstandings to sit while I focus on building a pattern of consistently faithful behavior. When people begin to see that pattern, they drop the misunderstandings because the testimony of consistent behavior speaks louder. I had to acknowledge that my desire to set the record straight was out of a desire to please people. This is dangerous because when we focus on pleasing people we will inevitably choose pleasing people over pleasing God. This was Paul’s point in verse 10. Am I trying to please people or am I trying to please God? If we try to please people we are in danger of bending our thoughts and ideas to please them. This is what pollutes the gospel with manmade ideas. The mind of man is contrary to the mind of God and our human minds reject what doesn’t feel good to our flesh. If we want to maintain the purity of the gospel we have to reject the thoughts and ideas of man that challenge the gospel and allow God to change us.