Paul's break-up with Barnabas is a good reminder to all of us to guard our hearts as we minister together (Acts 15:38-41).
Paul wanted to revisit churches they had established and didn't want to take John Mark with him. Barnabas appealed to Paul to take Mark with them. They didn't reach agreement. In fact, the decision ripped their relationship apart.
"Then there arose a sharp contention, so that they separated from each other" (Acts 15:39).
The model for Christians in this snippet is not a good one. Both leaders handled the disagreement poorly.
At times like this, we must consider the whole body of work. "What work did we accomplish together? How much good did we do for the kingdom?"
We must consider the context of the moment. Who will protect the good of the relationship? What saddens me most about this story is that we don't read about any further work together from this powerhouse team.
For the good of the kingdom, we must keep our relationships above the damage caused by prideful disagreements.
Hearts break when fellowship breaks.
Dr. Steve Greene is the publisher and executive vice president of the media group at Charisma Media and executive producer of the Charisma Podcast Network. His book, Love Leads: The Spiritual Connection Between Your Relationships and Productivity, released July 2017.
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