Sunday: From Fracture to Friendship
avatar

Paul and Barnabas worked together in witnessing for Jesus. But they had some strife between them (Acts 15:36-39).

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Image © Rolf Jansson from GoodSalt.com

Paul could not trust one as fearful as John Mark. The potential dangers of preaching the gospel had caused John Mark at one point to desert Paul and Barnabas and return home.

“This desertion caused Paul to judge Mark unfavorably, and even severely, for a time. Barnabas, on the other hand, was inclined to excuse him because of his inexperience. He felt anxious that Mark should not abandon the ministry, for he saw in him qualifications that would fit him to be a useful worker for Christ.”-Ellen G. White, The Acts of the Apostles, p. 170.

Although God used all these men, the issues between them needed resolution. The apostle, who preached grace, needed to extend grace to a young preacher who had disappointed him. The apostle of forgiveness needed to forgive. John Mark grew in the affirming mentorship of Barnabas and, eventually, Paul’s heart was apparently touched by the changes.

How do Paul’s letters from prison to Timothy and the church at Colossae reveal his renewed relationship with John Mark and a new confidence in this young preacher? Col. 4:10-112 Tim. 4:11.

Although details of Paul’s reconciliation with John Mark may be sketchy, the biblical record is clear. John Mark became one of the apostle’s trusted companions. Paul highly recommended John Mark as a “fellow worker” to the church at Colossae. At the end of Paul’s life, he strongly encouraged Timothy to bring John Mark with him to Rome because he was “useful to me for ministry” (NKJV) . Paul’s ministry was enriched by the young preacher, whom he had obviously forgiven. The barrier between them was broken and they were able to work together in the cause of the Gospel.

How can we learn to forgive those who have hurt or disappointed us? At the same time, why does forgiveness not always include a complete restoration of a previous relationship? Why does it not always need to?

Share Button

Comments

Sunday: From Fracture to Friendship — 25 Comments

  1. Preaching the gospel to some one whom your not at ease with iz impossible, so if as christians we overcome enermity, rivally and envy between us, then that will be the first step in God's ministry..

    Like(5)
  2. In as much as it is very difficult to forgive those whom we lay our trust on inturn they betray it its a necessity 2 forgive them if we'r to progress&grow spiritualy

    Like(7)
  3. Forgiveness does not always include a complete restoration of a previous relationship because what is important is the present,learning from my mistakes and moving on.I might not have the opportunity of the previous situation to mend but my actions now can reflect my reformed life and that the holy spirit is working in me.

    Like(25)
  4. Forgiveness is vital for our spiritual progression. As Jesus Christ also said, 'forgive your brother so that you may also be forgiven of your sins'. But I think we shouldn't just say 'I forgive you' so that we can return ourselves the favour of being forgiven by our God. We have to mean it. Forgiveness cannot always bring back the kind of relationship that preexisted before we got into disagreements with our friends/family/colleagues (because people tend not to forget easily - even after having forgiven someone), but it's not always important to return to the old relationship. What matters is the forgiveness and concentrate on getting along with your brethren in the new beginning

    Like(16)
  5. As someone who has wronged someone, there may be forgiveness but reconciliation may be a far way off for people as some people tend to be more of themselves than of God thus not trust the Lord in all thy ways; leaning to how they feel rather than how they should be and do trusting in Him. If God says the relationship should be restored, restore it if not well it is in another way. But we should aim for His will at all times however hard this is.

    Like(4)
  6. Forgiveness does not always include a complete restoration of a previous relationship because the the issues that caused the breakup have not vanished into thin air. The differences in the way of thinking are still there but the parties have made a pact to continue despite these differences.
    It does not always need to because both parties have learned from the experience and have changed so the relationship is now on a different level but not necessarily worse, just different,

    Like(4)
  7. Forgiveness heals our hearts whether the other person who wronged us has changed or not. God can work with us to help us move on in life through the means of forgiveness. However, many different circumstances may prevent returning to the original relationship with the person with whom disagreement or hurt has occured.

    One of those circumstances may include that the other person may have not healed and changed. Sometimes to reconcile could mean placing ourselves back in a potentially harmful situation with a person who will continue to inflict the hurt and sin that has needed forgiveness in the past. Sometimes the only healthy thing to do for our own spiritual and physical safety is to create a healthy boundary between us and that person, a distance between us. God can give us forgiveness and wisdom to know how to handle further contact with such a person.

    Like(16)
  8. Complete restoration is not always possible because the hurt done might be very great. However, I have a question. What do you do when you want to forgive someone and seek forgiveness... but you don't know what you did wrong and they will not talk to you? I mean their demeanor changes and the last time you tried to reach out to them they lied on you and said you were causing a scene when all you did was ask to speak to them and stood there after they said no in shock?

    Like(4)
    • Pray for God's strength to move beyond the hurt that you have experienced with this person. God will have to change the other person's heart but you have initiated the process by seeking to forgive and be forgiven. Amos 3:3 says "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" An unforgiving spirit is not of God. God has shown us a better way through his Word when it comes to relationships. You are not alone; others share your experience and are praying for you.

      Like(7)
      • Thank you Linda for your prayers. Sometimes I feel like I am the only one experiencing things like this it is encouraging to know that other people have been there and they have made it through.

        Like(2)
  9. [Moderator's note: Please use full name.]

    Although forgiveness may not necessarily translate into restoration of the previous state of relationship, it is my opinion that this should be an exception rather than the rule. If forgiveness is unconditional, it has to be exactly that by holding the past as inconsequential. It is a tall call and we need lots of grace to make this practical.

    Like(5)
  10. Forgiveness is important for restoration and healing. I can extend God's grace through forgiveness by remembering how God's grace has been extended to me. Although we are instructed through God's word to forgive, I do not believe, based on experience, that forgiveness includes complete restoration of a previous relationship, especially one that does not promote my spiritual goals or uplift my relationship with Christ.

    Like(10)
  11. This weeks study is so vital to our lives and our relationship not only with our family/friends/church family but GOD. The forgiving spirit can only come from much prayer and study to be led by the spirit to come to see where and what needs to be said and addressed in the forgiveness.
    We are so proud..... Let's look at JESUS; what did HE do/say when they were in the process of nailing HIM to the cross? "FATHER', forgive them for they know not what they do". Wow, can wee say that when we are wronged? We need transformation....
    May we study the words and see how wee need to change toward our fallow man.
    May the LORD bless and keep us from the world.
    See you in Heaven........

    Like(5)
  12. Paul's life in the ministry was wholy led by the Holy Spirit and by this, the power of God through the Holy Spirit, Paul was equipped with the gift of discernment. Paul was able to discerned the genuineness of John Mark's concern and willingness to reconcile and to serve alongside with Paul in the ministry. John Mark, when he deserted Paul did not move on and started his own ministry but rather still remain with the brethren and waiting and willing to reunite with Paul. This is evidence of John Mark taken full accountability of his action that brought his separation from Paul and severed their relationship in the ministry. When we are guided and totally depending on the Holy Spirit, we can know and make the right choices in our relationships. It's my prayer for God to help me to walk according to His will, that i may be equipped with the gift of discernment that will enable me to make the right choice in my relationships that will bring honor and glory to God at the end.

    Like(4)
  13. Again, a very good topic! Total forgiveness (I've heard it said) is when you are able to love without reservation - the one who sins against you, and the absence for the need to bring the offender to shame with constant reminders of the past. When you can forgive (in love) without reminding people of their sins against you, You can grow in Christ Jesus.

    Like(2)
  14. [Moderator's Note: Please use real first and last names when commenting. Thank you.]

    its very painful to forgive but there are health benefits in forgiving and its necessary for our christian life

    Like(3)
  15. Good lesson indeed. Can someone shade more light. Yes, it is possible to forgive someone who have wronged you, but restoration to original state your former relationship is doubtful. Lets look at this, Before man sinnned, the realtionship that he had with the creator was so intimate such that man was able to face and converse with His creator.
    But after man sinned, that original state of being able to speak with His creator was severed, yet we received forgiveness through the death of our Saviour. Still today, we can not be able to meet God face to face and live, but we are being purified and perfected on our road to total restoration of our previous relation.
    Could this be the reason why today it is impossible to have your former relationship be restotred to original state after forgiveness has taken place because we still being perfected? Some have alluded to keeping health boundaries. God says, Love for one another will show to the world that indeed you are my disciples. These boundaries still to me prove that there is no unity. Help!!!

    Like(2)
    • Renford, I don't believe in time travel as we generally think of it. We can't go back and undo what we have done. What we do permanently alters the future in one way or another. On top of that the ripple effect does things we quite often don't even see but they are there nevertheless.

      Paul knew what past action does to relationships. His early persecution of the church took years for some in the church to get over and sometimes put a barrier up in their mind which colored everything he said and did.

      Besides, we often hurt people so deeply that there is a permanent scar left that is very difficult to get rid of. For these reasons I believe the millennium will be a time for healing what couldn't be healed in this life.

      Like(3)
  16. Thanks bro Tyler for your insight. This brings to mind that we need to treat others with utmost care as we would expect the to unto us.
    I believe we must begin living heavenly life here on earth. We are not ctizens of this world, our citizenship is beyond this life.
    God bless.

    Like(1)
  17. forgivness is not about God or the person who hurts us but it is all about us because forgiving others will bring us closer to God so as to receive Hs pardon for our sins

    Like(0)
  18. forgiving one another is the only gateway to an everlasting life.We sin every second and God forgives us,we are not worthy to hope for the life to come with our mere good works without forgivenes from the lord.There is no physical restoration to our relationship with God but spiritually we have been restored to God through Jesus Christ.Let us forgive one another .

    Like(0)

What do you think? If you like a comment, just [Like] it or post a thoughtful reply. Please provide a working email address and your real first AND last name to have your comment published.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. You can also subscribe without commenting.