Reading in Acts today - it was obvious the disciples had some of the same struggles that we do. It is difficult to picture them as truly human at times, but their struggles were so much like mine!
The verses talked about the struggle the disciples had accepting Saul, at least at first. This was a guy who had been very publicly connected to the killing of Christians. And yes, he had a conversion and came to the Lord, but, wouldn't you be nervous and suspicious if you had to be with Paul knowing what kind of life he had very recently been living?
Beth Moore points out in her "John" book, that "John had recently lost his beloved brother James to martyrdom. " Not at the hands of Paul, but, if John's loss was still fresh and people 'like' Paul had taken his brothers life I would imagine he was very cautious to connect with Paul.
Isn't it weird to think about the disciples in this way. Human - suspicious about someone claiming to be different who came out of the worst, most evil background and now proclaimed the name of the Lord! Proclaimed it loudly! The disciples had many of the same weaknesses and sins in their lives as we do.
We need to forgive those who have wronged us or who have lead lifestyles that have hurt others we love. We also need to believe in the powerful redemptive power of Jesus to change lives, really change them!
I learned today that I need to accept people just as they are - even when I worry they may not truly be changed...after all who am I to judge? The Lord knows I don't want to be judged by others...