They separated ...
After some time Paul said to Barnabas, “Let’s go back and visit each city where we previously preached the word of the Lord, to see how the new believers are doing.” Barnabas agreed and wanted to take along John Mark. But Paul disagreed strongly, since John Mark had deserted them in Pamphylia and had not continued with them in their work. Their disagreement was so sharp that they separated. -Acts 15:36-39 NLT
The idea that Christians, even strong leaders, sometimes do not get along is not a new idea. The things that we separate over sometimes seems so insignificant. Years ago, as a fairly new believer, I remember leaving a fellowship of friends over a doctrinal issue. Many years later I saw the leader of that group and all I could do was embrace him - secretly wishing that we were still friends. Why is it that Christians allow ideology and theology to come between us?
Perhaps one of the things that we can learn from today's passage is that we must always allow love to prevail. Paul and Barnabas both had the same goal but Paul could not get past the past - something happened between him and John Mark that he could not let go of. John Mark also deserted Barnabas on their first trip but, unlike Paul, he was willing to give him a second chance. Relationships are so complicated even between the most spiritual among us.
Teach us to love Lord. Help us to show each other love even when we sharply disagree.