Dear brothers and sisters, a I plead with you to live as I do in freedom from these things, for I have become like you Gentiles were -- free from the law.You did not mistreat me when I first preached to you.
Surely you remember that I was sick when I first brought you the Good News of Christ.
But even though my sickness was revolting to you, you did not reject me and turn me away. No, you took me in and cared for me as though I were an angel from God or even Christ Jesus himself.
Where is that joyful spirit we felt together then? In those days, I know you would gladly have taken out your own eyes and given them to me if it had been possible.
Have I now become your enemy because I am telling you the truth?
Those false teachers who are so anxious to win your favor are not doing it for your good. They are trying to shut you off from me so that you will pay more attention to them.
Now it's wonderful if you are eager to do good, and especially when I am not with you.
But oh, my dear children! I feel as if I am going through labor pains for you again, and they will continue until Christ is fully developed in your lives.
How I wish I were there with you right now, so that I could be more gentle with you. But at this distance I frankly don't know what else to do.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)