We aren’t who we used to be. This was certainly true for Onesimus and Mark, two men who were intricately connected to the ministry of Paul and who—at one point—would have been thought extremely unlikely to ever be in such a place. Onesimus was a runaway slave who’d taken something that wasn’t his. Mark, meanwhile, had abandoned Paul during his first missionary journey. Both had run away.
But Onesimus is now described as a “faithful and dear brother” and Mark is listed as a close associate. What happened? They weren’t who they used to be. It appears, after experiencing God’s grace, they went back and made it right. Onesimus to his master and Mark to Paul. They each moved from being “useless” to “useful.” Failure wasn’t necessarily final.
It’s easy for us to “write someone off” based on who they were in high school, in college or in a previous job 15 years ago. In our minds, who they were is who they always will be. But failure wasn’t final for Onesimus and Mark and isn’t true for those in your life. People grow slowly (sometimes, slower than we want). Who do you need to “let back in?” Today, in your Chair time, pray for that person and for God’s strength as you begin to work towards that possibility.