Such a sharp disagreement

Tuesday – Acts 15: 36-40 Sometime later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise to take him, because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord.

It’s not just with our families that we have conflict. We also have conflict with our co-workers and ministry partners. In today’s passage, we see an argument between Paul and Barnabas (who travelled around the world together for the entire first half of Acts) that grew so contentious that they parted ways – much like Lot and Abraham did. There’s nothing in the text here to suggest that one or the other person was wrong. They just couldn’t reach an agreement.

The primary hope I see in this passage is that the parting of ways didn’t end anyone’s ministry. In fact, it just meant that there were four incredibly potent ministers (instead of two) travelling the world and doing the work of the gospels. That doesn’t mean that people weren’t saddened by the split or that there wasn’t hurt in it. But God still used it to bring about his Kingdom.

It can be hard to grieve and be hopeful at the same time in situations like this one. But spend some time holding those two things in tension today. See what God says to you in that.