Sometimes new Christians become overly critical of those who lead them to Christ. At first they are happy and thankful to be new Christians, glad that someone took the time to tell them about the reason why Jesus died on the cross. But soon, as they grow in knowledge about the Bible, the begin to consider themselves “experts” in the things of the Bible and start criticizing the same teachers who first showed them such love and grace. They stop wanting to learn from these brothers, acting as if they don’t need any more help and already know everything! The Apostle Paul faced this problem with the believers at Corinth. Some of those he had led to the Lord were now so critical of him that they stopped listening to him and learning from his wisdom. He had to remind them that he was still their teacher, and that they had a lot more they could still learn from him.
Here is what he wrote to them:
Even if you had ten thousand guardians in Christ, you do not have many fathers, for in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 16 Therefore I urge you to imitate me. 17 For this reason I have sent to youTimothy, my son whom I love, who is faithful in the Lord. He will remind you of my way of life in Christ Jesus, which agrees with what I teach everywhere in every church. (I Corinthians 4:15-17)
Paul here reminds the believers of the personal responsibility that he feels for them, and of the great care and attention he has given of them. Also, his conduct among them has been exemplary , even though they have found many little things to criticize him about. They need to swallow their pride and realize that there is still much to learn from him. He may not live the kind of life style that easily impresses people, but his personal conduct is genuine, matching the purity, love, and grace of the gospel message itself.