We are in the heart of Hey There, Girlfriend: Finding Courage for Friendship. It’s Day 4 and today we are focusing on our aim. You and I can actually point our own actions and responses toward what endures. Think about the relationships you have experienced. You, too, may have bundled up past hurts because of soured sisterhoods. Emotions linger, often wrecking our courage to try again. We wonder why we should strive for friendships only to be hurt and disappointed again.
Paul offers sound counsel for how to navigate this emotional obstacle in his final closing statements to Timothy. Paul gives personal instructions. He notes where people have gone, who has remained, and which people to stay away from. He even requests his cloak (2 Timothy 4:10-15). Woven among these personal details lives the best advice for aiming toward what endures.
“At my first defense no one came to stand by me, but all deserted me. May it not be charged against them,” 2 Timothy 4:16
In the middle of the hurt and disappointment, Paul communicates a tremendous amount of Christ-likeness to be embraced.
What? Where was Luke? Where were his friends? Why on Earth was Paul alone? This is an opportunity to wallow in disappointment and suffering, but Paul does not. Instead, he points Timothy to God’s ability to meet his needs when all humanity fails.
“But the Lord stood by me and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lion’s mouth,” 2 Timothy 4:17
Paul wants Timothy, along with the reader, to know people are going to disappoint us in tremendous ways. Sometimes those we think should show up for us will not. They will make choices we would not. It’s possible that those closest to you will be insensitive, acting in ways you find unconscionable. You, too, might experience heartache from good friends or family.
Paul demonstrates to us how to aim toward what endures.
As if sharing wisdom in relationship dealings toward Timothy for the future, Paul writes, may it not be charged against them. In other words, these people are still our friends. It’s going to hurt when it happens, but don’t hold it against them.
Chances are, you and I have let some people down, too. There may have been times we couldn’t be there, or we didn’t see the event as important as they did.
May it not be charged against us.
Courage calls us to aim toward handling our relationships like Paul. Loving when it’s hard –
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity Proverbs 17:17 ESV
Forgiving when it hurts:
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13 NIV
May we not charge it against them.
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