Thursday, January 17, 2013
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! 20 I wish I could be present with you now and change my tone, for I am perplexed about you.
They make much of you. That is, they make you feel good, warm, welcome, secure. But their motives are not true, they are not based on the gospel. In fact, they want to shut you out of the kingdom, so that you will make much of them. If you were in the kingdom, you would see through their charade.
It is good to be made much of for a good purpose, that is it is good to be noticed for doing good if that notice brings glory to God. But I am puzzled, because I think you have strayed from your worship of God and are now worshiping yourself or others in place of God. What kind of idiot does that? Certainly not someone who has understood the message of the gospel! You people amaze me with your behavior.
Harsh words? Yes! But Paul is trying to save them from a terrible fate. If you saw someone about to run into traffic, you wouldn't whisper, "Are you sure about this?" Or say, "Perhaps this choice is not an appropriate one at the moment." NO, YOU WOULD YELL AT THEM TO STOP, unafraid if their feelings were going to be hurt.
So when is it okay to risk hurting someone's feelings? How did Jesus respond to those who distorted the truth? Tough questions, but ones that deserve consideration.