“And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord” (Acts 15:39-40 ESV)
Remember playing Tug of War as a child? The game consists of a rope, two teams, and a marker dividing the teams. The object of the game is to pull your opposing team over the marker. In this Scripture passage, Paul and Barnabas were in a kind of personal “tug of war” as they made plans for another missionary journey. Barnabas wanted to take Mark, but Paul was still upset at Mark for deserting them on their previous journey. As a result, Paul and Barnabas went their separate ways. Barnabas took Mark with him while Paul chose Silas to join him. Though they had their differences, the missionary work was not hindered.
As long as we are on this earth we will have conflicts with people, even within the church. The question comes, “Will we let conflict disrupt our mission?” We must not elevate personal offenses or preferences over the Great Commission. A point comes when we need to drop the “rope,” get over our differences, and move on to do the work.
Prayer: “Father, may I be faithful to your mission, get over personal offenses, and move on in my service to You.”
Taken from: Jenna Fleming, Open Windows: A Guide for Personal Devotions. Sept. 24