“Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work.” Acts 15:37-38
Words are said. Feelings are hurt. Friendships or family relationships are forever changed. We’ve all said harsh words and we’ve had them said to us. Personalities are going to clash.
Even within our family tribes; the in laws come from different backgrounds, different places, different up bringing. Our families of origin are different. We can’t be the same. God made each one of us different. We think differently. We react differently to life’s conflicts.
So how do Christians act and react when a disagreement comes? The Bible declares that a house divided against itself cannot stand. Disagreements will come at some point when there are varying opinions.
Becoming a Christian does not make you a robot. God has given us a brain to be able to think for ourselves. As far as possible; we are to be at peace with all men.
Believers in Christ must also tell the truth in love when a disagreement occurs. It’s wonderful when we can come to a resolution; however, there are times when the argument is so strong; people must part ways.
Churches split over disagreements. It gives non-Christians in the community plenty of ammunition against the body of Christ. You hear statements made like, “See, I told you they were just a bunch of hypocrites.”
God can take what Satan meant for evil and turn it out for our good and His glory. If two people of Christian faith disagree; there is still common ground. Jesus is the mediator of all mediators. He is our common ground; even when we have to agree to disagree.
Such was the case with Paul and Barnabas. They disagreed about taking John Mark with them, to check on their newly established churches. One believed they should take him and the other believed this young man should stay put.
Paul felt John Mark had abandoned the work in Pamphylia. The Bible doesn’t go into great detail about the argument itself; however, we know this dynamic duo team broke up. Everything happens for a reason. God may leave you in a certain place long enough to accomplish His purpose and then take you to another body of believers. Most importantly, we all need to carry out His will and kingdom purposes.
Lord, may I always obey the Spirit of the Lord. May I listen with the ear of a disciple. Help me to stay or go for the greater good of Your church. I always want to honor You and be about Your business. In Jesus Name. Amen