Not Counting It

Under Roman law, prisoners who were accused of crimes would first undergo what we would call today a “preliminary hearing.”  This would allow for evidence and witnesses to help the accused before the trial began.  In 2 Timothy, the apostle Paul found himself in a similar situation in Roman imprisonment after his initial hearing and as he awaited his trial.  

Paul states that at his first defense all “deserted him.”  At first glance, this appears sad to think of Paul being deserted by the many he had ministered to and served with.  This was, of course, during the days of Nero’s persecution.  Had someone spoken on his behalf, they would have likely been arrested.   

We should take note of the remainder of the verse.  Paul does not have any bitterness towards them, but rather displays grace and love.  He asked that their failure “not be counted against them.”*  Paul is putting into practice what he wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:5 where he says that love “does not take into account a wrong suffered.” 

When you feel betrayed or wronged, how do you respond?  Do you allow bitterness to take root?  Or do you respond like Paul?


Pastor Steven

*For similar responses see Ps. 32:2; Luke 23:34; Acts 7:60