Galatians 4:15-18 :
What was the blessing you enjoyed? For I testify to you that, if possible, you would have plucked out your eyes and given them to me. So then, have I become your enemy by telling you the truth? They zealously seek you in no good way. No, they desire to alienate you, that you may seek them. But it is always good to be zealous in a good cause, and not only when I am present with you.
Although I can’t tell for sure from this letter, it is logical that Paul suffered from some kind of problem with his eyes. Here he says that the Galatians would have exchanged theirs for his, so I believe it is safe to assume that they would have done it because Paul was in pain. It is interesting to consider that God used Paul’s eyes to remind him of who was in charge. When he was first converted Paul lost his sight entirely. This time, as he suffered, God caused Paul’s message to bring a brand new church to birth! We also know that Paul often dictated his letters and he even mentioned that when he wrote that he would use large letters. It seems pretty likely to me that Paul had some kind of serious eye problem.
My thinking is that his condition became acute right as he came to visit the Galatians the first time. They not only responded to the message but also responded to Paul’s needs with great affection. Paul noticed a significant difference in that they were treating him as an enemy now. Something definitely went wrong!
Paul explains to the Galatians that the reason that these bad teachers had come, was so that they could get a following for themselves at Paul’s expense. It was political. They just wanted the power and they were zealous for power! Now that created an issue for Paul because he strongly believes in zeal, but not the selfish, power hungry kind.
Paul believes in zeal so much that he said, “it is always good to be zealous in a good cause.” Notice the word “always” here. Now, many people in my culture are terrified by the very presence of zeal itself. I have noticed that zeal has become a cultural weakness or even a sin; even something that should be controlled or subdued. This is very wrong and comes only from the world and Satanic influence. Wouldn’t it be nice if Satan didn’t have to worry about anyone getting too excited about doing what is right. It would be a lot easier to get things done if everyone would just settle down. No, Paul says we ought to be zealous for good causes! Not only should we be zealous for good causes, but we should be that way whenever possible! Paul even adds that we should be zealous when no one is looking. We should put ourselves entirely into doing the good that God has called us to do.
It may scare some of those who live in this dull world at first, but when that that zeal becomes their salvation, they will learn to follow your example.