36 Some time later Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers in all the towns where we preached the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, 38 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. 39 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. Acts 15:36-41
This is the second church conflict, though this had little to do with doctrine. Paul, obviously a very energetic and driven man, didn’t want John Mark to tag along. Paul didn’t trust him. They did the best thing under the circumstances, they “agreed to disagree” as we like to say. Many church arguments are not as peaceful and agreeable as what we saw here.
Luke – author of the Book of Acts – leaves us with a huge takeaway: walk away. We can certainly apply that in many areas of our lives.
- Getting in a heated online discussion? Walk away. The internet is forever and you don’t want to say things you’ll regret tomorrow or 20 years from now.
- Getting angry at a co-worker? Do your best to walk away or “bite your tongue” until you can walk away.
- Getting upset at the family? Walk away until you’ve cooled down and can think rationally.