| 1:43 min read |
Are you a helpful person? To be “helpful” is to provide what is needed or useful to someone. Helpful people are great blessings. It’s someone we all should want to be.
Paul, the apostle, wrote about someone who was helpful to him in 2 Timothy 4:11 (NIV) “…Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.”
Paul told Timothy to bring a young man named Mark to him during a challenging time in Paul’s life. Paul had history with Mark. Years earlier, when Paul and his co-worker Barnabas first began planting churches, Mark traveled with them as an assistant—as a helper. Sadly, because of the roughness of the task, Mark deserted Paul in the midst of the mission. Paul was deeply disappointed in Mark’s actions and refused to allow him to travel with him on his next journey. Instead, he took Timothy.
We might say that, because of his immaturity, Mark was somewhat useless during this earlier season in his life. He didn’t have the grit and perseverance to be a reliable helper. However, after the passing of time and the mentoring of others, including the apostle Peter, Mark changed. He became helpful. He was now ready for a new assignment. He was prepared to be used by God, and to be useful to Paul.
What’s the lesson for us? First, this story is a reminder for us to focus on developing the character needed to be a true helper in God’s work, and helpful to others who are doing God’s work. Second, it’s a reminder that we should never give up on someone who failed the useful test in the past. Mark is an example of someone who grew into usefulness over time.
God is looking for people who are helpful. He has wonderful assignments for folks like this!