They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. (Acts 15:39)
Our small group leaders could not agree on what Bible study was most appropriate for our group. They each felt we needed to focus on different areas of holiness living. When they took a poll from the group members, the numbers were split. Some members agreed we should focus on forgiveness and others agreed we should focus on freedom in Christ. The group ended up splitting into two new groups in an effort to meet both requests. The split created space for new members in each group. What initially felt like a negative situation became an opportunity for the leaders to reach more people.
Barnabas and Paul disagreed about whether John Mark should travel with them as an assistant. Barnabas wanted John Mark to accompany them; Paul did not. The disagreement between Barnabas and Paul ultimately led to them going separate ways. This split could be seen as negative; however, the parting allowed them to reach more people in less time with the gospel. They each had a helper go with them who was able to support and assist as they spread the good news.
Sometimes what looks bad on the surface can end up serving a greater purpose in God’s kingdom. Christ-followers must be willing to trust the Holy Spirit and allow things to change even when it looks negative from our vantage point.
Surrender your plans to God’s will no matter what it requires.
Tara Klein is a Wesley Seminary graduate who enjoys relaxing with her family, serving others, and sharing God’s unconditional love with the lost and brokenhearted.
© 2022 Wesleyan Publishing House. Reprinted from Light from the Word. Used by permission. Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®.