The Daily Fountain Daily Devotional of the Church Of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) 29 April 2019 – Handling Disagreements
TOPIC: Handling Disagreements
READ: Acts 15:36-41 New King James Version (NKJV)
36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do.
37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark.
38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.
39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus;
40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God.
41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.
Paul and Barnabas had been working as partners for years, planting Churches and spreading the gospel together.
However, even partners do disagree sometimes. The disagreement between Paul and Barnabas brings some things to the fore. Paul’s reason for refusing John Mark to go with them on this mission was because he had deserted them at some point on the first missionary journey (Acts 13:13), perhaps out of fear, exhaustion or discouragement. Paul and Barnabas are two dedicated men who had just helped bring unity to the Church, and yet here they could not settle their own disagreement!
Disturbing and painful as these conflicts are, they have often been found in the Church throughout history. Good and godly people in the Church do disagree; we must accept this fact. But we must be careful that our disagreements do not hinder the work of God.
Perhaps for Paul and Barnabas, it was a difference of perspective: Paul looks at people and asks, What can they do for God’s work? while Barnabas looks at people and asks, What can God’s work do in them? Both questions are important to God’s work and a lot of times, it is hard to keep things balanced.
As a result of the contribution of Barnabas to the growth of Mark, Paul came to love and appreciate Mark quite fondly (Colossians 4:10; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 23-24). Never write anyone off.
ACTION: Find someone to urge on in faith today.