Pastor Jeff Manion reminded us last weekend that we should be very slow to write one another off. It’s tempting to write off people who annoy us, say hurtful or harmful words, or attempt to damage us. If we’re not careful we can justify bitter, resentful, and unforgiving hearts. Paul was annoyed and hurt by John Mark. But he refused to write John Mark off forever.
In Colossians 4.10 we read, “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).” Paul pens these words! Over time, the relationships among Paul, Barnabas, and John Mark are restored to the point that Paul can craft a genuine letter of recommendation for John Mark. It took 14 years, prayer, a receptive spirit, and challenging conversations for reconciliation.
This is so important to the heart of Jesus. He spoke these words in Matthew 18.15, “If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.”
Being right with each other is not something we drift into. This requires intentionality, courage, and challenging “two-chair” conversations. Who needs to be part of your “two-chair” conversation? Ask God to help you initiate this critical conversation. May God give you the courage, wisdom, care, and grace-filled words to reconcile.