In 2 Timothy 4.11 we read, “Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry.” This should stun us. Years after his sharp disagreement with Barnabas and John Mark, Paul sends for John Mark. And, Paul identifies John Mark as useful! This is the same Paul who felt betrayed and abandoned by John Mark. The Bible doesn’t record how Paul and Barnabas repaired their relationship nor how Paul came to trust John Mark once again. However, we can assume this process involved time and challenging conversations.
This situation transforms from we are not right with each other to we are now right with each other. The relationship reconciles so that Paul, Barnabas, and John Mark move from unable to work with each other to Paul indicating he needs John Mark. How? Paul does not write John Mark off forever. He allows himself to heal over time. And, Paul sought an opportunity to engage John Mark and reunite. Over time, as Paul is confronted with God’s grace, he is able to forgive John Mark.
In last weekend’s sermon Pastor Manion highlighted how fractured relationships happen to humble, God-loving people. It happened between Paul and Barnabas who are two spiritually mature heroes of our Bible. Many of us have suffered the pain of a meaningful relationship breaking in our life. Many of us are very familiar with the grief that often follows. Sometimes, good-hearted and good-natured people see things differently and get sideways with each other. In the sermon clip below, Pastor Manion offers some practical tools for helping good-hearted, mature people reconcile a fractured relationship.
In conflict we easily forget the grace that has been extended to us. In fact, many of our conflicts could be avoided or reconciled if we remember the following words from Ephesians 4.32, “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
Today, memorize Ephesians 4.32 and call it to mind when you find yourself in conflict.