‘We have this treasure in earthen vessels.’ 2 Corinthians 4:7 KJV
One of the worst arguments recorded in Scripture took place between one of the most successful ministry teams of all time—Paul and Barnabas. What was it about? John Mark. Barnabas wanted to take him on their next missionary journey and Paul didn’t. Why? Because Paul was upset with John Mark for wanting to take time off to be with his family. (Sometimes passionate, purpose-driven people don’t see things clearly!)
But after consideration, Paul changed his mind and wrote: ‘Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world… Get Mark, and bring him with you: for he is useful to me for ministry.’ (2 Timothy 4:10–11 NKJV)
There are three important lessons here:
(1) Everyone deserves another chance. After all, that’s what God repeatedly does for you. Now, in extending grace you can get hurt and disappointed, but if you’re going to be Christlike it’s a risk you must take.
(2) Not everyone has the same calling. The person you’re upset with may not be called to do what you’re called to do, or they may have been called to do it in a different way. Never make your personal preferences a condition for loving, accepting, and working with someone.
(3) Look for the best in others, not the worst. The Bible says, ‘We have this treasure in earthen vessels.’ That means everyone you deal with has ‘treasure’, but it comes in a flawed ‘earthen vessel’. It also means it’s your responsibility to look for that treasure and value it. Generally speaking, when people feel appreciated they try to rise and meet your expectations.
SoulFood: 2 Sam 20:1–22:30, Matt 26:36–46, Ps 140, Prov 18:21–22
The Word for Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2021
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