Galatians 4:12.”Brethren, I beseech you, be as I am; for I am as ye are: ye have not injured me at all.”
This seems like a strange statement at first glance, so let’s pick it apart. And, of course, we have to remember to always keep things in context. This is an introductory verse for the next section, from 4:12-20.
Brethren, I beseech you: Paul is now speaking directly to the believers, speaking in a very intimate way, and from the heart. He is begging them.
Be as I am, for I am as ye are: Once, Paul had been just like them. He followed all the laws with great care, depending upon his observance of the Law for his place in heaven. But now, he is free from the Law, and no longer needs to observe it, because he is new in Christ Jesus. Paul wants the Galatian believers to enjoy the fullness of their salvation, and no to be tied to the Law any longer.
Ye have not injured me at all: This statement will become more clear as we continue this section. For now, it’s important to realize that there was a rift in the tender relationship between Paul and the Galatian believers. This rift came about partly because the judaizers did their best to discredit Paul and his apostleship.
Second, Paul didn’t mince words. He called them “foolish Galatians,” and they apparently didn’t take it kindly that he was so direct. He didn’t worry about being politically correct.
Third, it is simply in the nature of mankind to reject criticism, no matter how kindly it is offered. We don’t like being caught in our foolishness.
All these things, Paul said, had not injured him at all. He took it in stride, and his major and ongoing concern was for these believers who were being led astray by the judaizers.
Incorrect doctrine often leads to strife and separation among believers. Satan is always at work.