36 After some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Come, let us return and visit the believers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord and see how they are doing.” 37 Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul decided not to take with them one who had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not accompanied them in the work. 39 The disagreement became so sharp that they parted company; Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus. 40 But Paul chose Silas and set out, the believers commending him to the grace of the Lord. 41 He went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.
As our fifty days are coming to an end, I realize there is so much more to learn. So I ask you to continue on this journey. Read Scripture and let me know when you discover new insights. I offer this story of Paul and Barnabas as a reminder that “loving” does not always mean liking.
I think it is important for us to see this reality. Paul refuses to work with John who is called Mark because Paul judges him harshly. Barnabas, however, is willing to take a chance on John. In many ways, that happens to us. We are not always able to let go when someone lets us down—and this is where the “ego” blocks our ability to love as God loves. Luckily, God created people like Barnabas. Paul is not prefect—no human being is. However, when Paul surrenders to the power of the Holy Spirit, Paul does a remarkable job conveying God’s message. When people in communities of faith try to surrender their egos and answer God’s call, they will make mistakes. Can we remember this when we struggle to understand what God is calling each of us to do?
Prayer Recap: Dear Lord, Paul judged John Mark harshly. You inspired Barnabas to separate from Paul and to nurture John Mark. Help us to understand when healthy detachment is better than constant criticism. Amen.