The problems and pleasures of people - Hope 103.2

The problems and pleasures of people

By David ReayThursday 29 Oct 2015LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read 2 Timothy 4:9-15

9 Timothy, please come as soon as you can. 10 Demas has deserted me because he loves the things of this life and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus has gone to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Bring Mark with you when you come, for he will be helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, be sure to bring the coat I left with Carpus at Troas. Also bring my books, and especially my papers.

14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm, but the Lord will judge him for what he has done. 15 Be careful of him, for he fought against everything we said. (NLT)

School teaching would be a breeze if it weren’t for the pupils. Hospitals would be so much more efficient without sick people. And churches would be havens of peace and goodwill if we could only remove the congregations. But even to say such things is to recognise the folly of such thoughts.

We see in this passage that Paul had mixed experiences with people. Some brought him great comfort. Others caused him much concern. Anyone who works with people can testify to this reality. We simply can’t pick and choose in such a way that we only relate to those who will give us pleasure rather than pain. The same human being is quite capable of both. One example is mentioned in this text: Mark, who upset Paul in earlier times had since become a valued partner.

We need not become cynical and write off people as those who will inevitably disappoint us. Nor need we be naïve and assume that people will always do and say and think the right thing. After all, we ourselves are a crazy mixture of the good and not so good.

Following Jesus is a team effort. We don’t do it alone. We forge relationships. Some of these will bless us and others will burden us. Paul, and for that matter Jesus, took the risk. So should we.

David Reay