Listen to this morning’s Scripture Song – Psalm 48:1 & 2
Read the “1209 Evening and Morning“ devotion for today, by the late Charles Haddon Spurgeon.
“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?” – (Galatians 4:16)
As I read verse 15, I thought of the phrase, “Don’t Shoot The Messenger”. I looked back in the blog archives and discovered that I have used that phrase as the title to two other posts derived from two different passages. It seems that men of God throughout the Bible have had trouble being negatively received by the people they are ministering to.
In this morning’s passage, Paul is trying to straighten out the problem of legalism in the churches of Galatia. They apparently were trying to mix New Testament Christianity with the Old Testament Law. By doing so, they were adding to salvation by grace through faith, making it a salvation of works. Paul explained to them that if they were going to try to keep the Law, they had better do it perfectly, which, of course, is an impossibility. We are not saved by keeping the Law, and we are certainly not kept by keeping the Law. Salvation comes through faith in Christ, and our Christian life is to be a walk of faith.
The point I am trying to make here in this post, however, is that the Christians in Galatia were very fond of Paul until he started preaching something that went contrary with what they were doing. They had been influenced by some people who were corrupting their thinking. Paul was merely trying to get them back on the right path, but the people didn’t want to hear it. Instead of searching the Scriptures as the Bereans did, and listening to the truth, the people were stubbornly holding on to their false doctrine; and Paul became the bad guy.
I have had this type of thing happen to me in the ministry. I have had people who at one time loved me, later turn on me and become an enemy. Usually it was because there was something in their lives that was inconsistent with the teaching of the Bible and the will of God. Instead of fixing the problem, they decided to get mad at the messenger. I understand that doctors sometimes experience this same scenario. They are just reporting the truth revealed through their examination. They didn’t cause the problem, but somehow they end up with the blame.
Let’s stop blaming the messengers that God sends into our lives. If the messenger is telling us the truth, then we must face it. We really ought to thank those who are being honest enough with us to help us by telling us what we really don’t want to hear. But how can we get help if we don’t know the truth. Don’t shoot the messenger.
Posted in Thoughts From Galatians by Phil Erickson with 2 comments.