In Galatians 4:16, what did Paul mean by saying,
“Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?”KJV,
Corrective counsel required.
In context of the chapter four, we discern Paul's brotherly concerned with the Galatians, the Galatians needed corrective counselling, because after coming to know God and to be known by God they returned to the weak and elementary things of the world .(Compare Colossians 2:20-22) And so Paul wrote.
Galatians 4:8-9 NASB ." However at that time, when you did not know
God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. 9 But now
that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is
it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless [h]elemental
things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?
And possibly to forestall any resentment, he asked : "So have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? " (Galatians 4:16 NASB) True friends protect one another and will think enough of you to point out a serious fault and offer positive advice in a loving way. "He who rebukes a man will afterward find more favor Than he who flatters with the tongue." Proverbs 28:23 NASB
He knew that the pride of erring ones could be injured . Yet, he was aware that to stand between a sinner and the discipline he needs could have the effect of denying that one an expression of God’s love. Therefore, as a faithful friend with the long-term interests of the congregation at heart, Paul did not shrink back from offering corrective counsel.
Hebrews 12:5-11 (NASB)
5 "And you have forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as
sons, “My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, Nor
faint when you are reproved by Him; 6 For those whom the Lord loves He
disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.”7 It is for
discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what
son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 But if you are
without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are
illegitimate children and not sons.