Most children were taught from an early age to do what is right. The parental guiding hand wanted to instill integrity into the child. Part of the process involved was to honor their parents. That learning endeavor began by doing what was said. Soon started a struggle between the child and authority. Children have always wanted their way, and insightful parents wanted the best for their children.
God has always blessed the person who is not deceitful. The Lord honors truth. He always has and He always will. Jesus said to him, “I am . . .the truth” (John 14:6). When a person comes to the Lord and experiences salvation, they will change. II Corinthians 5:17 calls the redeemed “new creatures.” What does that mean? It means the character of the new believer now can become more like Christ. The new man can now put the old ways behind him and start a fresh, clean life.
The original helpers for the church in Jerusalem were men of respected reputation and wisdom (Acts 6:3). These men were used by the Holy Spirit to advance the work of the Lord. This mature spiritual journey develops slowly for most individuals. The lifelong development of a Christian is a process, slow at times, and rapid at others, depending upon our receptivity.
There are times we stumble. Other times we fall flat on our face. How one moves forward is up to him. Integrity is the guide. Trusting in Jesus and depending on the Holy Spirit’s guidance, will make the journey sweeter.
John Mark, an apprentice of Paul and Silas, offended Paul by quitting on a missionary adventure (Acts 15:37,38). Later, Mark, as he is better known, had re-established his testimony as being dependable. Paul recognized that and then requested Mark’s presence in II Timothy 4:11. Mark somehow became useful for the ministry. God used John Mark to write part of the New Testament, the book of Mark. God would not have used Mark if he was still a quitter.
Why the above example? Let me explain. Regardless of your past faithfulness or lack thereof, there is still hope for you. God can encourage you, use you, and bless you for His glory.
God always desires what is best for each of His children, regardless of the past. Do not let a haunting memory continue to discourage you. If Mark can re-establish his usefulness for God, so can any other sincere believer, including you, to do what is right in His sight.