Back in March the Royal family was stunned by words which caused them much anxiety. Relationships have at best been strained and the Queen has used some words to bring about healing and hopefully reconciliation – “…Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members”.
The Christian family from time to time has also experienced broken relationships – for example – Paul & Peter Gal 2:11-21 – Doctrinal argument – Paul & Barnabas – leadership argument over John Mark’s suitability for mission work – Acts 15:36-41 & Euodia & Syntyche – relational problems – Philippians 4:2-3.
Paul was especially close to Timothy and Titus, and called them sons. In Philippians 2.4 Paul talks about putting the interests of others before your own and clearly Timothy was a good example of someone with a Christ-like attitude (Philippians 2:20-24).
Words are very, very important and Paul must have heard some words of reconciliation or used some words of reconciliation when John Mark cameback into his team after a 12 year absence. John Mark was now a person he could rely on (Colossians 4:10 & Philemon 24). By the end of his life Paul admired him so much that he requested him to come to be with him during his final days (2Timothy4:11).
The long journeys Timothy, Titus and Mark had to travel to be together with Paul were often dangerous. These early Christians put their lives in danger due to their love for each other and the Lord. We must regain some of that self-sacrificing love if we are to truly forgive those that have hurt us over the years and put our unessential differences to one side. We all need to learn how to apply Phillipians 2:4 and learn again to encourage our brothers and sisters in their giftings in Christ.
We are all called into the same family (Romans 1:6) and we need to use our words wisely like the Queen so we can agree to differ amicably whilst reaffirming our love for each other.
Selwyn Hughes said he could go for a whole month on one word of encouragement. Let us all seek, with God’s grace, to use words that build up and encourage those around us who are part of the same family for which Jesus died (Galatians 6:10).
Image Credit: Brett Jordan