Chapter 4:12-20 (ESV) - Brothers, I entreat you, become as I am, for I also have become as you are. You did me no wrong. You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first, and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. What then has become of your blessedness? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have gouged out your eyes and given them to me. Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth? They make much of you, but for no good purpose. They want to shut you out, that you may make much of them. It is always good to be made much of for a good purpose, and not only when I am present with you, my little children, for whom I am again in the anguish of childbirth until Christ is formed in you! I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
Question to consider: Why were the Galatians treating Paul like an enemy?
One of the greatest evidences of our sin nature is our tendency to become angry with someone who is telling us the truth about ourselves when we don’t want to hear it. Paul had no reason to lie to the Galatians. He only wanted to make sure they understood the gospel. For them to choose to go back to slavery to the law had to mean that they didn’t understand the freedom we have in Christ
In fact, the Judaizers appeared to be using the Galatians in order to raise up people against Paul to try and influence the council in Jerusalem. Since circumcision is not something you can undo, I’m sure that Paul’s rebuke was damaging to their pride.
As hard as it is to face embarrassment or admit that you are wrong about something, consider yourself fortunate to have Christian brothers or sisters who are willing to tell you the truth even if it might injure your relationship with them. If you have different people giving you conflicting information, do your best to discern the motives of both sides and more importantly, compare what they are saying to the scriptures. In this case, Paul was concerned for their very souls so the issue was too important to ignore.
Father in heaven, thank you for giving us truth. As much as the world tries to argue that truth can change based on our circumstances, we are grateful for your word which does not change and helps us to spot a lie before it can destroy us. We ask that you would keep us humble enough to see our sin for what it is so that we may repent of it and turn back to you. Amen.