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Posts Tagged ‘pragmatism’

Acts 15:39a
They [Paul and Barnabas] had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company…

I think about all that Paul and Barnabas had been through and wonder how this disagreement finally tipped the scale. Maybe they were always kvetching with each other and this was one kvetch too many. Who knows? But clearly, these wunderkind apostles did fight.

It appears that Barnabas was ready to extend grace to John Mark for his disappearing act when they were all traveling together before (near Pamphylia), but Paul was not. For Paul, it was simply unwise. He didn’t think they could “count on” John Mark.

Both Paul and Barnabas were considered apostles. Both men were familiar with the Holy Spirit. Both men were prayer warriors. Both men were leaders. And yet, they could not agree.

It is no different today. There will always be disagreement between leaders … between believers. Some lean toward grace and some lean toward pragmatism. Is one right where the other is wrong? No, they are simply different roads.

John Mark went on to write the book of Mark which has been included in the canon of scripture. Barnabas disappears from the story after leaving Paul. Silas, Paul’s new companion, went on to work with Timothy. And of course, Paul continued his own journeys. Each man contributed to the story in his own way.

There is a place for both: grace and pragmatism. They are not necessarily on opposite sides of the coin.

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