2 TIMOTHY 4:16
“At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them.”
I bet Paul had names on the tip of his tongue when he wrote this verse. People who knew him and his ministry got scared and wouldn’t back him up. They had fled the scene, kind of like John Mark in the garden when they grabbed his clothing. He peeled it off and ran.
Even in the midst of that hurt, Paul says, “It’s okay. Don’t get upset they didn’t help.” Paul is so concerned about Timothy as he writes this last letter. He wants to make sure Timothy doesn’t hold any ill will towards anyone after he is gone. I believe Paul knew it was only going to get harder for Timothy and that he was going to need all the Christian brothers and sisters he could find to surround him.
Our children will get their feelings hurt by friends. I guarantee it. The day will come when they come home from school or a game in tears or screaming mad because “such and such” just ignored them or dumped them for someone else. Quickly, take them to this verse. Remind them of the context of the verse (Paul’s last imprisonment, hole in the ground, going to die). Now, don’t make light of their situation. Feelings are real. Instead, point out Paul’s attitude.
They have a choice to make. They can either harbor resentment or forgive. Remember, forgiveness is always for the one forgiving, not the one forgiven. If you refuse to forgive someone, they may never know. But you will never forget it. Tell your child how sweet forgiveness is once you truly embrace it.
Is there someone in your life right now you need to forgive for a wrong against you? How long have you been holding on to this? Do they even know you have not forgiven them? Stop and forgive them now. As soon as you can call them or go see them. Make this right. It’s not about them. It’s about you walking in faith and believing in God’s powerful forgiveness.
I can’t forgive one single person without knowing You are the one who extends the forgiveness. Thank You, Lord, for forgivng me when I was unforgiveable. I do deserve Your grace.