12 I plead with you, brothers and sisters, become like me, for I became like you. You did me no wrong. 13 As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you, 14 and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15 Where, then, is your blessing of me now? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me. 16 Have I now become your enemy by telling you the truth? 17 Those people are zealous to win you over, but for no good. What they want is to alienate you from us, so that you may have zeal for them. 18 It is fine to be zealous, provided the purpose is good, and to be so always, not just when I am with you. 19 My dear children, for whom I am again in the pains of childbirth until Christ is formed in you, 20 how I wish I could be with you now and change my tone, because I am perplexed about you!
There is such passion in Paul’s tone, he is so emotive in his language and you can hear the urgency in his voice. He desperately wants the Galatians to stay on track in following Jesus.
It’s a reminder that when we care deeply for others and want to see them flourish we will suffer, and as we journey together there will be pain and discomfort. It’s good to know that we’re not alone in the suffering. If we’re going to experience pain and discomfort though, it’s worthwhile if it’s about seeing Christ formed in those around us – a shaping that will last for eternity.
God, please help me to see that as I walk alongside my brothers and sisters in Christ it’s about seeing Jesus formed in us. When it’s uncomfortable or painful, when we grow weary, help us to lean in knowing that this really matters… now and for eternity. Amen.
Written by Ps. Bethany Waugh