Acts 15:36-41

Today's Passage: Acts 15:36-41

I had two friends get into a fist fight in the cafeteria in high school. After the scuffle had ended, one teacher walked up to me and another friend who witnessed this and said to us: “shame on you two for just sitting there and watching this happen!” I was convicted because she was right, and I didn’t do anything to bring peace or deescalate that moment. I’m not sure those two ever mended or overcame their differences.

Paul and Barnabas, two very dear friends, got involved in a skirmish because Paul didn’t want John Mark accompanying them since he had backed out on an earlier missional commitment, whereas Barnabas did. The Bible called it a sharp disagreement that resulted in separation.

We can’t assume that every Christian relationship will be free from tension or argumentation. It’s not like Jesus is a magic bullet to successful interpersonal communication and conflict. Yet, a relationship with Jesus should affect the way we seek resolution to any conflict that might occur.

God used the disagreement of Paul and Barnabas to send the gospel out even further, causing a strengthening of the churches (v. 41). Thankfully, these brothers were able to reconcile at a later date, but it just goes to show the necessity of forgiveness and longsuffering with other people.

Is there an unreconciled relationship in your life that you could take steps toward making right? Remember the call of Romans 12:18.

Is the disagreement worth losing a friendship or relationship over? It is rooted in selfishness or pride on your part that can be fixed with repentance and humility?

Can you forgive someone anyway, even if they don’t make strides to fix it on their end?

Are you, like I was, stuck in the middle of a fight and doing nothing to intervene? Take it from me, I wish I could go back and fix it (even though it was high school drama). I wouldn’t regret stepping in, but I do regret doing nothing.

Take a minute and ask the Spirit to guide you in what your next step might be in any of these situations.

Written By: Drew Dukes

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