“Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?”
Have I therefore become your enemy
Paul pointedly spells out the issue that the Galatians did not want to face – he tells the truth about their legalism. The Galatians did not want to part from their valued legalism. They moved from the one extreme of wanting to give their eyes for Paul (Galatians 4:15) to the other extreme of regarding him as an “enemy.” They went from exceptionally loving Paul to greatly hating him.
“Do not correct a scoffer, lest he hate you; Rebuke a wise man, and he will love you” (Proverbs 9:8).
because I tell you the truth?
Paul became the enemy of the Galatians because he told the truth about the error of legalism. He confronted them with truth, not opinion. A person convinced against his will is of the same opinion still. Grace was an unwelcome idea to them.
A true friend tells the truth even when the truth hurts. The truth hurt the Galatians because they would have to renounce their prized false teaching. Truth can damn us.
True love tells the truth even when it hurts.
It is precarious business to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It is incredible how many people are willing to count someone as their enemy when they tell the truth. Biblically, someone who tells us the truth is our best supporter.
“Let the righteous strike me;
It shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me;
It shall be as excellent oil;
Let my head not refuse it” (Psalm 141:5).
There are times when pastors must tell their congregation the truth, but their church members do not want to hear it. They reject their pastors because they reject their message. This is a necessary peril of ministry. Preachers should bite the bullet and pay the price for truth even if it costs them their job. Sadly, some ministers and leaders withhold telling the truth for fear of offending people.
Grace, amazingly, is a revolting thought to many people. Faithful teaching of God’s Word will fly in the face of legalism. Many people in the church today are poised to embrace legalism. A faithful teacher of God’s Word will confront this proclivity.
Many Christians are always on the search for new things. They are more than ready to cast off their past because they are titillated by something they have never experienced. They are blind to the foundational truth of the Word.