“As you know, everyone from the province of Asia has deserted me — even Phygelus and Hermogenes. May the Lord show special kindness to Onesiphorus and all his family because he often visited and encouraged me. He was never ashamed of me because I was in chains. When he came to Rome, he searched everywhere until he found me. May the Lord show him special kindness on the day of Christ’s return. And you know very well how helpful he was in Ephesus.” (2 Timothy 1:15-18, NIV)
As we can see from today’s scripture reading, even the best of people have bad experiences with friends and associates. Clearly, Paul was grieved by the desertions of “everyone from the province of Asia” in general; and the desertion of Phygelus and Hermogenes, in particular.
However, he is cheered by the kindnesses of Onesiphorus.
It is telling that Paul uses more than twice the number of words recalling the faithfulness of Onesiphorus than he does for the failures of Phygelus, Hermogenes, and all of the other folks in the Asia province. Although Paul never denied the reality of the negative, he chose to spend a lot more time — and words — dwelling on the positive. We should, too. – Luther