Embracing Sunday

Grace scrabble tiles

“We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith to this grace in which we stand.” ~ Romans 5: 1-2

“Their disagreement over this was so sharp that they separated. Barnabas took John Mark with him …Paul chose Silas, and the believers sent them off, entrusting them to the Lord’s grace.”

~ Acts 15: 39-40

Peace with God may differ greatly from peaceful feelings. Peace with God means that we have been reconciled with Him. There is no hostility between us, no sin blocking our relationship with Him. We are at once complete in Christ {our acceptance with Him is secure} and, yet, we are also still growing in Christ {trying to be more like Him every day}.

Paul and Barnabas disagreed sharply over Mark, because he had deserted them earlier in their travels.  We are never told the exact reason why Mark chose to leave Paul and Barnabas when they arrived at Perga. We only know that later, when he connected with them again, Paul was cautious about allowing him to join him and Barnabas on their next journey. The point is, really, that even Christians do not always agree and then it’s best to create some distance and let God work His will. When the disagreement presents itself between a Christian and someone having no particular religious affinities, creating that distance becomes essential to allow for growth in both grace and wisdom.

A Christian understands that there is no sin blocking him or her from a relationship with Christ; at the same time, a Christian acknowledges that they are a sinner. That is why Christians still seek Him in their daily lives. It’s not enough to say you believe. It’s not enough to say you are spiritual. Paul was upset with Mark and.that’s.okay. There is nothing wrong with Paul admitting that he was upset with Mark and didn’t agree with Barnabas over whether or not Mark should join them on further journeys.

Barnabas chose to separate from Paul and take Mark with him. Chances are good that Barnabas could see that Paul’s anger was on the fringe of wrath towards him and Mark — and wrath is never, ever a good thing. It is one thing to disagree, to hold a different opinion, it is quite another to strike out in anger with the sole purpose of dragging someone through the mud, attempting to dirty their character.

wisdom rock

Barnabas’s focus was on what God wanted him to do. Paul was passionate and impatient. Passion and impatience are not good companions. If it wasn’t for the wisdom of Barnabas, Paul’s ministry would have imploded and he would not have succeeded in his mission to bring the message of Christ to fruition. Paul’s longest journey was the one his soul had to take. Before he could continue to grow in grace and wisdom, he had to not only admit that he, too, was a sinner; imperfect and fallible — he had to believe it.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been the target of someone’s current passion and anger. I had a choice this morning to either succumb to her wrath or separate from it. Vengeance is not the road I prefer to walk down. I removed the blog post that she chose to use as fodder for her wrath, while using me as her anti-muse. I choose the way of Barnabas. I can only wish her well in her endeavors and that she is happier for it when her journey ends.

Have you ever been the bull’s-eye for another person’s unhappiness? How did you handle it? Did you continue to confront them, or did you walk away?


  1. I believe you nailed it, Robin, when you wrote “Barnabas’ focus was on what God wanted him to do.” It is too easy to lose focus, too easy to get side-tracked, too easy to get lost in ourselves. I made a decision about 2 years ago to walk away from a possible confrontation. There were many people who congratulated me on my decision. But….they could not see into my heart! They could not hear me confronting silently in vain imaginings. Only The Lord could help me there! And He did!

    Thank you for such a thoughtful post! (Btw, I’m in our Flying Lessons as Marian Ruth Packard.)

    • Yes, Ruth, God sees into our hearts. He knows what are intentions are. We are not called to be perfect. How can we — we are human, not divine. We can only continue to do our best to grow in Grace and Wisdom, which is what my blog is all about. Thank you for sharing, Ruth. 🙂

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