In 2 Corinthians chapter 7, Paul writes about the troublesome time he and his companions had when they arrived in Macedonia. He says there was no rest for them. Outside, there was conflict from every direction and inside, there was fear (2 Corinthians 7:5).
Then Paul continues. He writes:
But God, who encourages those who are discouraged, encouraged us by the arrival of Titus.
2 Corinthians 7:6 (NLT)
I was visited by "Titus" today. I felt discouraged. I cried out to God and then opened an email I had received earlier from a friend. It was just simply a friendly email sharing a few pictures with me but on impulse, I suddenly found myself sharing my discouragement with my friend.
It wasn't long before I heard back from my friend. I have to tell you I hesitated for a moment for I had a feeling that there might be a bit of scolding in that email. I expected the email to preach at me a bit, tell me I brought things on myself, I needed to be more careful, I shouldn't allow discouragement to creep in and so forth. That's what I expected and perhaps even deserved but that's not what happened.
My friend could have "preached" at me but they didn't. Instead my friend chose to be an encouragement to me. My friend was a "Titus".
There are plenty of people who are standing in line to admonish and correct us. There are plenty of people who want to tell us to "toughen up" and "move on". They are like the parent who picks up a crying child who has fallen down and coldly says, "You're fine so stop being a baby about it." There are a lot of people ready and willing to do that.
How many of us are willing to be a Titus? Are we so afraid of coddling that we have lost our compassion? Do we fail to understand that sitting beside a person and wrapping our arms around them does more good than a hundred sermons sometimes? Jesus didn't and the Pharisees hated him for that.
Today I am very thankful that God sent "Titus" to me. The presence of "Titus" was a joy (2 Corinthians 7:7a) to me as well as a source of strength and encouragement. It is a blessing from God when "Titus" pays you a visit.
However, that leads me to another question. When we are blessed by God, it is important for us to offer up ourselves to God to be used by Him to bless others. Am I willing to be a "Titus" to others?
Photo Credit: Danilo Rizzuti/freedigitalphotos.net