Acts 15 – 36 Some time 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.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 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. 39 They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. Barnabas took Mark and sailed for Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and left, commended by the believers to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

I have pondered on Paul and Barnabas this week, and have even done some research about their respective journeys after the two separated. Barnabas felt so strongly that Mark should be included in their journey that he severed ties with Paul, and instead ventured out to Cyprus with Mark.

The separation had to be painful for them both. They’d made a great team in ministry and now there were words between them, along with staunch disagreement. It would have been easy for one or both to throw in the towel and go home!

Years back I was part of a Bible study on why so many Christians bail on church. One prevalent reason was that we get offended.  Someone said something or did something that hurt, and we walk away.  It happens to us all, at some point. Spiritual family can be like biological family – we squabble and disagree. It is part of the life of any church.

I was thankful to read that Paul and Barnabas later reconciled, and in the interim, God used both men’s ministries to further his work.

I can only hope to love my spiritual family to the best of my ability, and to beg forgiveness when I’m thoughtless, forgetful, or stubbornly opinionated.  The word “grace” means undeserved favor. May we do our best to show undeserved favor and love to one another – even when our feathers have been ruffled.

Have a blessed week!

Diana Kongkeattikul