‘Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the brothers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are going. 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.’ Acts 15:36-38 (NIV).
Arguments between good friends happen. Even between good, godly friends. In this instance, Paul and Barnabas were about to set out on a journey to encourage the believers and they could not agree on whether to take Mark or not. ‘They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company.’ (Acts 15:39).
But even in this seemingly difficult situation God had a plan. Their disagreement caused these two great preachers to form two teams. Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus and Paul chose Silas as his partner, opening up two missionary endeavors instead of one.
God works even through conflict and disagreements. When we disagree with fellow believers, it is important to stay humble and courteous. Even though Paul resisted taking Mark on this missionary journey, they must have remained good friends because we read in Philemon 24 that Mark is a fellow worker of Paul.
Christians will not always agree, but problems can be rectified by agreeing to disagree and letting God do His work.
‘Heavenly Father, you understand the disagreement I am entangled in just now. I invite you to have your way in this situation. Help me to handle this with grace and love and acceptance to the glory of your name. Thank you.’
In Jesus’ Mighty Name,
Are we struggling to agree on a particular issue with other friends in Christ? What would it look like to agree to disagree in an amicable way? Can we trust that God might work even our disagreements out for our good and His glory?
Disagreeing is never pleasant, but it doesn’t have to end in angry silence, bitterness and division. Let God’s Spirit move with grace and love upon our disagreements and then something good will emerge.
Be Greatly Blessed!