A Changed Heart

10 … sends you his greetings; and also Barnabas’s cousin Mark (about whom you received instructions; if he comes to you, welcome him) … (Colossians 4).

The word “instructions” does not convey any sort of passive suggestion on Paul’s part, for it is the same word used many times by Jesus Himself when referring to the “commandments” of God. Thus, Paul is very serious about how he wants these folks to treat Mark—the same Mark who deserted him and Barnabas years before during his first missionary journey.

Likewise, the word “welcome” does convey any sort of a passive treatment toward Mark, for it describes a warm embrace given in genuine hospitality, as if to a long-lost friend coming to your door. It conveys a genuine gladness and joy that they have come—not simply a fulfillment of Christian duty or social decency.

Thus we see the warm attitude Paul had concerning someone in whom he was once so disappointed that he could not in good conscience continue joining with him in missionary endeavors—to the extent that to prove his point he was even willing to break fellowship with such a godly man as Barnabas (Acts 15:36-40)!

Lord, help us This Day to forgive and have warm hearts toward those who have once disappointed us. Amen.