If he comes to you, welcome him. Colossians 4:10
Amos was an overbearing extrovert, and Danny was a loner wracked with self-doubt. Somehow these eccentric geniuses became best friends. They spent a decade laughing and learning together. One day their work would receive a Nobel Prize. But Danny tired of Amos’ self-centered ways and told him they were no longer friends.
Three days later, Amos called with terrible news. Doctors had found cancer and given him six months to live. Danny’s heart broke. “We’re friends,” he said, “whatever you think we are.”
Paul was a hard-nosed visionary and Barnabas a soft-hearted encourager. The Spirit put them together and sent them on a missionary journey (Acts 13:2–3). They preached and started churches, until their disagreement over Mark’s desertion. Barnabas wanted to give Mark a second chance. Paul said he could no longer be trusted. So they split up (15:36–41).
Paul eventually forgave Mark. He closed three letters with greetings from or commendations for him (Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24). We don’t know what happened with Barnabas. Did he live long enough to be reconciled with Paul in this life? I hope so.
Whatever your situation today, try to reach out to those with whom you may have had a falling out. Now is the time to show and tell them how much you love them.
With whom do you need to reconcile? What can you do with your pain if that person is no longer living?
Father, help me to see that one primary purpose of life is to show love to those around me.
Acts 15:36–41 portrays Paul as a hard-nosed project leader lacking empathy or kindness and intolerant of failure. But this isn’t the complete picture of who Paul was. Scripture also presents him with a pastoral heart. He showed his appreciation for people who worked with him, singling out individuals for special mention in his letters. Eighty to ninety people are variously designated as his “fellow workers” or “co-workers” (Romans 16:3, 9, 21; Colossians 4:11; 1 Thessalonians 3:2; Philemon 1:1, 24). Some are his fellow missionaries, and some are his interns and subordinates, ministry partners, traveling companions, fellow prisoners, and supporters. Colossians 4:7–18 gives us a window into Paul’s pastoral heart when he names ten of his co-workers from the church in Colossae for special mention. The apostle wasn’t just a great visionary leader; he was also a great mentor and a loving pastor and friend with a great capacity for caring for others and their ministry.