“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.” — Acts 15:37-38
One evening, two porcupines huddled together to stay warm. But because their needles poked each other, they quickly moved apart. Beginning to shiver, they came back together. They realized that “though they needled each other, they needed each other.”
Too often, we experience this same needling with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Differing personalities, passions, goals or opinions drive us away from one another, while the Bible encourages just the opposite. In Acts 15, the story of Paul and Barnabas disagreeing about John Mark illustrates how two Godly individuals can see things differently and separate for a time in a healthy manner.
Any time we interact with others, disagreements are likely. With Jesus as our example, we are encouraged to bear with, forgive and be patient with one another. We are to remain united in spirit and work in harmony for the sake of the Gospel. As we walk in the Holy Spirit’s power, the fruit of the Spirit enables us to preserve the unity of peace. In this way, we honor God and others see the difference faith in Him makes.
Paul and John Mark later reconciled their differences. They needed each other for the sake of the Gospel. We, too, need each other for the sake of the Gospel. The next time a fellow believer needles you, obey God’s instructions and remember we need each other.
— Karen Zando, NWSL’s Orlando Pride chaplain
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