Several years ago I remember sitting in the waiting area of an auto garage while my car had some work done to it. On the wall they had a humorous sign which read something to the effect of, “Everybody brings joy; some when they arrive and some when they leave.” Very true statement, isn’t it?
That saying goes very well with our reading today in 1 Corinthians 16. As Paul writes his closing remarks in this his first letter to the church of Corinth, he makes a point of mentioning the names of various people, including the house of Stephanas who were noted to have the wonderful testimony of being “addicted to the ministry.” He then writes in verses 17-18, “I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and Fortunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such.”
I love how Paul described the affect that these 3 people had on him and others; they refreshed his spirit. When I hear the word “refreshing” I think of a cold drink after doing some work on a hot summer day. Or maybe the chance to go for a quick swim on a hot summer day. Refreshing…….ahhhhh! That’s the affect that these 3 individuals had on Paul. Maybe it was spiritual encouragement or maybe just a positive infectious attitude that helped pick up Paul’s spirit. So the question for us today is how refreshing are we to other people. Are we an encouragement, or someone that is known to exude joy and a positive attitude? Or are we more like Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh, the old donkey that would walk around moaning, “woe is me”. May we be known as people, particularly in this crazy world in which we live, that are refreshing!