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.
In this passage, we see where two great friends in the faith had a sharp disagreement.
This one actually caused these two to part ways. One went this way and the other went that way. If you read on, it becomes clear that God worked mightily to cause the gospel to be advanced in the directions they both went. They also took a friend with them when they left. Fallen man’s mistakes did not thwart the gospel. It kept advancing. That was the purpose of their mission. Gospel advancement.
As I listened to a friend’s sharing of some girlfriend conflicts her daughter was in the midst of, it became clear that even amidst the disagreement, the gospel could be advanced. One would be spending a lot of time in one area of influence and the other would be spending more time in another circle. Both are believers. They reconciled. However, instead of forsaking their mission of being light in some areas of darkness, they made peace that they would be spread out. Out of their original huddle and into new ones. When she shared this with me, I immediately thought…PAUL AND BARNABAS!!
It also made me think about what I call “holy huddles”.
A holy huddle is what I think about when I am wanting to quarantine myself or my kids from the world. Don’t get me wrong. These huddles have strengthened me, encouraged me, helped me see the game plan of God’s Word, and set me on a path of right living. I never want to leave them. However, how would the gospel be advanced, others be encouraged in the Word, or life change happen if we all just stayed in the safe haven of these comfortable little huddles.
Sometimes disagreements cause some of us to part ways. Other times, circumstances beyond our control cause them, such as logistics. However, when we view them in light of the truth that one of God’s plans for our child is to advance the gospel, these disruptions in friendship circles can be viewed as opportunities for your family to be in new places and bring in the light of Christ where there might not be much light.
Sports teams dividing, new schools for 2014-15, new places of residence, name your “new”.
Let’s Pray God’s Word:
Dear Father, thank you for allowing us as your children, to be on mission to spread Your Word. Even amidst disagreements, your plan is not stopped as You use all things for the good of Your Kingdom and Your children.
This brings much comfort in a changing world. Comfort that You don’t change and Your Word doesn’t change even when boulders come crashing into our circles and bring change.
We need your grace as we live on mission with our children and their friends. Help us to always be mindful of this mission as we partner with others to strengthen new places and to spread Your Word and Your Love.