“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.”  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.”  Acts 15:36-40 NIV

Mallory and Seneca are the best of friends.  They get along great except once in awhile, they let something come between them.  That something is usually food, treats, or a new toy.  The disagreement can quickly escalate into a dogfight with two Alpha females demanding their own way.

Paul and Barnabas had been preaching the good news of Jesus everywhere they went.  Paul suggested that they return and check on the new converts in the towns where they had preached.  Barnabas wants to take Mark with them but Paul doesn’t want to because Mark left them and went back to Jerusalem as recorded in Acts 13:13.  In Colossians 4:10, Paul calls Mark, the cousin of Barnabas, so it’s family and Barnabas believes in his cousin.  

The Bible says that they have such a sharp disagreement that the two men part ways.  Barnabas gets with his cousin and heads to Cyprus and Paul travels with Silas to Asia Minor.  God used the split to reach more territory.  

Acts 4:36 states, “Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means son of encouragement).”  Barnabas was an encourager and just as he encouraged John Mark in his ministry, he had done the same for Paul.  He was the one who took up for Saul when the disciples didn’t trust him.  Acts 9:27 tells us, “But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles.  He told them how Saul on his journey had seen the Lord and that the Lord had spoken to him, and how in Damascus he had preached fearlessly in the name of Jesus.”  

Paul eventually comes to rely on John Mark.  In II Timothy 4:11 he requests, “Only Luke is with me.  Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry”.  Reconciliation has taken place and Paul values Mark as a vital part of his spreading the gospel message.

 Garth Brooks sings the song, “Two of a Kind, Workin’ on a Full House”.  One of the lines in it says that sometimes we fight just so we can make up.  I would never recommend that especially in the church but when God is in the midst, he can bring about the most amazing things.  Reconciliation can occur and the gospel message can be spread to the ends of the earth.

Just like our dogs when they fight, the fall out from sharp disagreements among believers is not pretty.  Trust all your relationships, good and bad, to God.  In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:6).



Sometimes we fight just so we can make up

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