Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth? – Galatians 4:16 NKJV
Sometimes the truth hurts.
It might be easier to ignore a situation, but truth must be proclaimed.
Here in Galatians 4, Paul has come to the point of reminding his readers of how he had preached the gospel to them previously. Yet, they began to drift away from his teaching of faith in Jesus solely as the way to salvation and reconciliation with God. The people of the Galatian church had moved to a hybrid version of Christianity where Jewish believers were forcing certain aspects of the Law onto Gentile Christians. In chapter 1, Paul makes it clear there is no other gospel and he uses strong language to convey his position.
By chapter 4, you can imagine Paul’s frustration as it seems even those in the Galatian church were considering him more of an enemy than a church leader! Paul told them the truth and it seems, some people didn’t like hearing what Paul had to say.
Truth can do that. Truth and the preaching of it, can lead to conflicts. No one likes being told they are believing a lie. But love demands, and truth requires, correction. Just as parents must correct their children, so too are spiritual leaders to offer correction when truth is at stake.
While this correction needs to be done in a gentle way, as Peter explains in 1 Peter 5:1-4, we should not be surprised when the proclamation of truth to wayward and deceived believers is met with disdain. Paul was now looked upon as an enemy by some of the Galatian church.
Paul sets the standard for us as to stand for truth. Not arrogantly, but humbly proclaim truth.
Our evangelical world seems to rage in turmoil as standards are minimized, guardrails of Christian conduct are ignored and removed, and truth is often deemed irrelevant. But like Paul had to address the 1st century Galatians, truth must be proclaimed. The church needs people who will stand up for truth, even when they are perceived as the enemy.
Stand for truth, even when others waver.
Stand for truth, even if it would easier to go with the crowd.
Stand for truth, even when you are perceived to be the enemy.
Stand for truth, because the truth is worth standing up for.
— Jeff Millslagle
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