What kind of friend do you have? What kind of friend are you?
Acts 18: 27 When Apollos wanted to go to Achaia, the brothers and sisters encouraged him and wrote to the disciples there to welcome him. When he arrived, he was a great help to those who by grace had believed.
Priscilla and Aquila would no doubt have told him of their efforts and ongoing concerns for the church in Corinth. So it is no surprise that Apollos wants to go to that region of Corinth and Athens.
We know from Paul’s letters to Corinth the impact that Apollos had on the church. They loved Apollos and his ministry.
Apollos was added value. He was a ‘great help’ so that the Church advanced in understanding of God and their witness in the world.
That would never have happened without Priscilla and Aquila.
They didn’t interfere, they influenced for the good. They helped the situation they didn’t hinder it. Sometimes people meddle and they muddy the waters. We all need to be careful who we allow to speak into our lives. But we all need friends who:
- Are able to give us correct information. Priscilla and Aquila had been in Corinth. It is without doubt they spoke to Apollos about their experiences. Their concerns were legitimate because it was first-hand. Their love for the people was genuine.
- Are outside of the situation. The ‘brothers and sisters’ encouraged Apollos. These were his Ephesian friends as The Message and the Amplified indicate. Apollos didn’t rely only on those who knew the church in Corinth but also those who were not involved and didn’t know. Wisdom is sometimes found outside not from within.
- Encourage. This is not to magnify the weakness in our lives, the doubts, the insecurities, but to strengthen those so that we can go forward. I don’t need a friend to tell me how difficult it may get, I already know this. I need a friend to tell me I can do it.
- Can open a door for us. Leaving it to God and trusting Him in it all is at times necessary. But there are times when we need someone to open the door for us. “We are sending Apollos, he is a good man, please welcome him.” Apollos didn’t need to try and prove himself. He was able to go in with confidence because of what his friends had done.
- Can bring change. We need friends who do more than recommend but who do what the Amplified and the Message state, “urge”. They present their case, they persuade, they answer the questions, defend, they put pressure on a person to change their mind about you.