You are aware that all who are in Asia turned away from me, among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains, but when he arrived in Rome he searched for me earnestly and found me— may the Lord grant him to find mercy from the Lord on that Day!—and you well know all the service he rendered at Ephesus. 2 Timothy 1:15-18
When things do not go according to plan it is amazing how fast people start to distance themselves. They just can’t seem to get away fast enough and let everyone who will listen that they knew all along the plan would not work. Today Paul writes about three men. Two that have turned their backs on Paul and one who has decided to stand by Paul even though Paul is now in chains in a Roman prison.
Being sent to prison was not unusual for first century Christians, if the Jewish leadership were not trying to put them in prison then the Romans we happy to oblige. But no matter how common this was, there were some who wanted to distance themselves from the ones who ran afoul of the authorities.
We can see that happening today. Someone gets a little too loud in sharing their faith or maybe they do so in an unorthodox way. We get a little embarrassed and ask them to cool it please. When they insist in continuing and we draw away from them, hoping no one will notice that we were once friends. But before we pull away we need to answer some questions. Why are they doing what they do, For God’s glory or their own? For if it is for God’s glory then we need to rethink our own actions.
God will do what needs to be done to get people to follow Him. He used a man running around and shouting in the wilderness eating locust and wearing funny cloths. He used a persecutor of the church to get His Word to us. He used a bunch of fishermen and tax collectors to spread the Gospel, He used them as free men and in prison.
Sometimes we need the unorthodox to reach some people. Not everyone wants to wear a suit and sit quietly for an hour once a week. Not everyone feel comfortable sitting in a building to worship. God does not care how or where we worship only that we worship Him in sprit and truth.
So the next time you are embarrassed by someone proclaiming God’s love, don’t judge them but stop and think how you can help spread the Word of God rather than hinder His workers.
Have a blessed day,