Why do we fight with our brothers? Why, with all that is good and noble about the person of Jesus Christ, do we nit pick at each other over so many things? And what do we do when we just can’t get along?
Barnabas means son of encouragement. He was Paul’s partner through many of the early missionary journeys. But, they disagreed over what to do with an unfaithful young man. Barnabas, the encourager, wanted to restore him. Paul, the former Pharisee, knew he couldn’t be trusted. It isn’t that Paul or Barnabas was wrong or right, though I have heard angry arguments on both sides. They disagreed.
History shows that Mark was worthy of restoration but it might not have been the case if Paul had not set a high standard. But the only scripturally verifiable result was that now there was an extra team going out. And that was good.
God doesn’t require us to agree on everything. He requires unity under the umbrella of created, His created, diversity. And the unity that He seeks is governed by His character and holiness, as revealed to us through His word.
And right now, I need the reminder that He sends encouragers. He sends restoration to the unfaithful. He will use our lives, despite our pettiness and the arguments we embrace to further His Kingdom.
And yes, He can use me still.
Today, I am celebrating 6 months of complete freedom from an addiction to pornograhy. I am celebrating a God that chooses to not give up. I am grateful for my King that loves me still.