Day 03 Dwelling in Unity

Some time later, Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us go back and visit the believers … and see how they are doing.” Barnabas wanted to take John, also called Mark, with them, but Paul did not think it wise … because he had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in the work. They had such a sharp disagreement that they parted company. —Acts 15:46-39

Dwell in Unity Jesus made it clear that He wants believers to dwell together in unity and live peacefully with all people.

While that should be the Christian ideal, different personalities, opinions and priorities get in the way, as they did in today’s passage. Paul and Barnabas had been dear friends – in fact, Barnabas was the first disciple to accept Paul after his dramatic conversion. They may have retained that close friendship after this passage, but the verses tell us they parted company, deciding not to work with each other any longer.

Sometimes in life, we will be led to part company with a friend or even a family member we love. Determining if it is time to do so can be hard, so you must pray diligently and seek guidance from the Bible and from other trusted people. If you’re still not sure, ask yourself these questions:

• Does this person build me up or tear me down? Friendships don’t exist to stroke egos, but if this person continually discourages you, consciously or not, he or she may not be good for you.

• Is this person taking advantage of me? Some people will try to feed off you, overburdening you with their needs or expecting you to solve all their problems. You are a friend, not a therapist or a pastor.

• Is destructive behavior involved? If your friend is continually and unrepentantly sinning, or trying to draw you into bad behavior patterns, you need to get away quickly.

• Can this person “agree to disagree”? If your friend is always right, can’t listen and can’t be held accountable, he or she may become a stumbling block for you.

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