Today’s scripture: 2 Timothy 4:9-16
We were created for relationship. We need other people in our lives.
But sometimes those “others” let us down. Sometimes they harm us. Sometimes
they desert us. Sometimes they oppose us.
What do we do then? In just a few words, Paul answered that question: “may it
not be counted against them.”
I interpret these words as “Pray for them.” He didn’t want them to be harmed in
return. He didn’t want revenge. Rather, he “hope[ed] it [wouldn’t] be
held against them” (CEV). And how would it not be “held against them”? Well, as
far as I know, the only way something we don’t hold something against another
person is if we forgive them. But often we can’t do that easily on our own. We
And so, I believe Paul prayed for those who harmed him. I believe he chose to
forgive them and, even more, he prayed for their redemption.
It reminds me of stories you read about a murder victim’s parent going to visit
the killer and offering him forgiveness. And being able to do this is only
possible by prayerfully seeking God’s help.
Is there anyone who has harmed you? Have you been deserted? It may be the
hardest thing for you to do, but forgive them. Then pray for them. Don’t hold
anything against them.
And let God do His work in them.