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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)

While disagreements are never fun to have, they are an inevitable part of our lives as relational human beings. When you live in a fallen world, you must understand that not everyone will agree with everything you say and do. We shouldn’t let this truth deter us from handling the disagreement in a God-honoring way. We must believe that God can still bring good out of a disagreement between two of His children.

Take Paul and Barnabas, for example. They were two extremely close friends, both working toward the goal of spreading the Gospel to anyone who would listen. However, at one point in their ministry, they had a very strong disagreement about how they would proceed with their mission to preach and teach the lost. 

Paul did not want John Mark to come with them on their journey because John Mark had left them earlier; this made Paul skeptical of his faithfulness and endurance. On the other hand, Barnabas wanted to give John Mark a second chance and include him on their journey, desiring to grant him the same compassion he had shown Paul in the past.

Paul and Barnabas shared the same vision, the same passion, and the same goal. However, their opinions about the ways they wanted to proceed and the people they wanted to bring along differed drastically. Scripture says they disagreed so sharply that they parted company. Thankfully, that didn’t stop the Lord from using both men to spread the good news of Jesus. 

Instead of being one team, Paul and Barnabas had created two different teams and doubled their reach. Even in their disagreement, God used them to expand His Kingdom, and He can do the same in the midst of our disagreements, as well. Don’t give up on God when you can’t agree with another person. Please realize that God can use this setback for His glory. Move forward in obedience with what He is calling you to do, and see firsthand how He works all things together for good. 

5 Comments

  1. Kelly galloway on November 18, 2021 at 5:31 am

    I’ve learned the above lesson more than once…I’m open to more that will come as I trust God

  2. Anita on November 18, 2021 at 7:48 am

    Oh my God Dr. Dodd, what a beautiful, insightful, wise and biblical way to look at disagreement – I always always always am edified and blessed by your writing – and will take this understanding of disagreements, which tend to bother me greatly, to heart – it makes sense, thank you, all glory to God Alone!!!

  3. Susette Loughney on November 18, 2021 at 8:32 am

    I’m starting to understand what the verses are saying I’ve had disagreements with other believers and I never understood why they believed it that way but I’m starting to understand God will intervene and make it out for good. Thank you Dr Curt Dodd for explaining it that way I absolutely love your devotionals it really does help me understand.

  4. James W Howell on November 18, 2021 at 8:38 am

    GLORY Be To GOD. Thank you for today’s teaching. GOD’S way is always THE WAY ! PRAISE The Lord.

  5. Betty Laughlin on November 18, 2021 at 11:20 am

    That is so true. I have parted ways with those close to me and God has expanded reaching others for His glory. I also do what I can with God’s help to mend and keep those relationships close to heart ❤

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