Paul knew some Judaizers had come to the early church and had told them, “Don’t listen to Paul. He’s a chump.” So he had to write and defend himself, as he often did. “You know it was because of a bodily ailment that I preached the gospel to you at first,” —this is a humble confession— “and though my condition was a trial to you, you did not scorn or despise me, but received me as an angel of God, as Christ Jesus. …Have I then become your enemy by telling you the truth?” (Galatians 4:13-14,16, ESV).
The Bible has all kinds of incidents where a prophet would come to a king and speak a message from the Lord, but it was a corrective Word. The king would respond, “What did you just say?” Then to his guards, “Would you arrest him and put him in a cell. Oh, and two days later, go ahead and cut his head off.”
Why? Because we don’t like to be corrected. When we walk in pride, we are fools, and Proverbs says, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid” (Proverbs 12:1). If you don’t want people to get upset at you, you got to tell them what they want to hear.
A lot of churches run this way. Avoid any verses in the Bible that are corrective and might make people feel uncomfortable. If they’re practicing some sin like racial animosity, don’t tell a white person that everybody’s the same and that we’re to love everyone. No, they don’t want to hear that if they’re in certain parts of the country or part of certain mindsets. Don’t tell black people that they have to love white people even though the history of this country is not so pretty. No, they do not want to hear that. Don’t tell anybody anything they don’t want to hear because pride doesn’t like to be corrected.
People think, “I’m going to do things my way, and if you correct me, that means you don’t like me!” The scripture say, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend” (Proverbs 27:6). Don’t we all need a baptism of humility? Lord, give me humility so that I don’t see anyone who corrects me as an enemy.