“But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.”
One of the most regretful moments in Mark’s life had to be when he ran. God used Mark to pen the Gospel of Mark, but leaving Paul and Barnabas in a time that he was needed was something that Paul was not willing to take another chance on as the ministry was so important. Mark’s departure at a needed time became the source of contention between Paul and Barnabas that caused them to parted ways.
The one thing I love about Mark is that this was not the end of his story. Mark corrected his running ways and made something great of his life. Instead of letting that moment become the defining moment of his life, God used him later to pen one of the Gospels and was even used again by Barnabas. Maybe the greatest part of Mark’s life was that he rebuilt his credibility with Paul. Paul said about Mark in 2 Timothy 4:11, “Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.” What an incredible testimony for Mark. Instead of moving on and forgetting about Paul, he rebuilt his credibility. Some great truths can be learned from Mark’s life that can help you.
First, the departure moment in your life always hurts others. You always hurt those who are depending on you whenever you choose to quit and run when times are difficult. Running in difficult times is a terrible habit to start. You have to realize that running because the ministry is hard, or because your feelings got hurt, or because you got embarrassed when someone found out something about you, only hurts the ministry and creates a distrust with those who were depending on you to stand with them.
Second, just because you ran or quit at a difficult time doesn’t mean that you can’t come back. Mark swallowed his pride and came back to the very people from whom he ran. He could have easily gone to a different church and hid, but he got right and came back. Don’t compound your mistake of running by not returning when you realize you were wrong. One mistake is bad enough, but the place from where you ran or the time you quit is the place where you need to go back to rebuild your credibility. Don’t let your pride from quitting keep you from returning.
Third, rebuild your credibility with those whom you hurt. Don’t hold against them their mistrust of you. You are the one who ran from them. It is your responsibility to rebuild your trust. Mark must have determined to become valuable to Paul again, and he did. The Scriptures don’t show how he rebuilt that trust, but somehow he placed himself in a situation to work with Paul again so that he could rebuild the trust he had previously broken. My friend, don’t avoid those who you ran from or quit on. Instead of running, determine to rebuild your credibility with those who you abandoned in a needy time.
Finally, if someone quit on you and they’ve come back, give them a chance to rebuild their credibility. People make mistakes that they regret, and the fact that they have come back should be the indicator that they want to do right. My friend, we can always use more people on the LORD’s team. Don’t keep people down who have returned. Give them a chance to rebuild their credibility; you might find that they will become the most valuable people to you if you give them another chance.