Acts 15:39-40, "They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord."
Colossians 4:10, "My fellow prisoner Aristarchus sends you his greetings, as does Mark,the cousin of Barnabas. (You have received instructions about him; if he comes to you, welcome him.)"
If you've been reading my blog the past few weeks, you know I've been doing an online bible study on Colossians. Well I ended my last session today and it ended with 'final greetings' from Paul. Like the verse Colossians 4:10 above, as an example, it is one I quickly skim by without further study. We must remember "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
So what can we learn from Colossians 4:10? "Paul had a quarrel with Barnabas upon the account of this Mark, who was his nephew, and thought not good to take him with them, because he departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work, Acts 15:38. He would not take Mark with him, but took Silas, because Mark had deserted them; and yet Paul is not only reconciled to him himself, but recommends him to the respect of the churches, and gives a great example of a truly Christian forgiving spirit." [M. Henry]
Mark was a quitter and Paul held a grudge for some time, but with the help of the Holy Spirit he forgave him. Have you ever felt like that? I know I have and I needed the Holy Spirit to not only convict me but to guide me into repentance for that unforgiving grudge. The Holy Spirit guides me into seeing another perspective other than my own and to remind me of all the times I've failed and been forgiven. "If men have been guilty of a fault, it must not be always remembered against them. We must forget as well as forgive. If a man be overtaken in a fault, you who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of meekness, Gal. 6:1." [M. Henry]
Today, I watched the movie, "I Can Only Imagine." It's the true story of the lead singer of Mercy Me and what led him to writing this #1 Christian song. I don't want to spoil the movie plot for anyone, but there are 3 God-truths to gain from it...
- No one is beyond God's transforming reach and love
- Forgiveness is possible with the help of the Holy Spirit
- Don't wait for a terminal illness to make amends with God and each other
"Forgiveness lies at the heart of the Christian faith, with our Savior extending forgiveness even when He was dying on the cross. Jesus loved those who had nailed Him there, uttering a prayer asking His Father to forgive them. He didn’t hang on to bitterness or anger, but showed grace and love to those who had wronged Him." [odb.org]
The Bible is very specific on the cost of anger. The Bible says:
- It causes arguments (Proverbs 15:18--A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but the one who is patient calms a quarrel.)
- It causes mistakes (Proverbs 14:29--Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.)
- It causes foolish things (Proverbs 14:17--Whoever is patient has great understanding, but one who is quick-tempered displays folly.)