Our verse for today comes from Acts 13:13, “Now Paul and his companions set sail from Paphos and came to Perga in Pamphylia. And John left them and returned to Jerusalem.”
Yesterday we read this verse and talked about endings – yours and mine and what we are doing about them while we still have time. That emphasis came from the fact that the separation that Paul and John Mark experienced was not once and for all. Later, they were reconciled and became helpful and useful to one another in the spreading of God’s word. But John’s change of course does make one wonder what might have led to their parting of ways. Well, in stating that, I think it important to be reminded that little of our time should be spent in conjecture, especially as it relates to the issues and concerns of others. Very little that is constructive comes from wondering about and injecting into another’s situation, frittering our time analyzing what we think we know and speculating about that which we don’t. But John’s decision should make us think about our own course of action. Namely, when is it worth withdrawing or separating from someone else? Just because we read in scripture of Paul carrying on without John, and later his refusal to bring him back on at that point, that doesn’t mean that either one or both did what was right. But it doesn’t necessarily mean the separation was uncalled for, either.
In your walk with Christ, it is imperative that you hold to the truths of scripture and shape your heart, mind, feelings and decisions by those truths. And when and if you do hold fast to Jesus and His holiness, it is inevitable that choices will have to be made. But God’s wisdom comes in when to make that choice, and in what that choice will be. In other words, when will you turn this way when the others turn that way? You will have myriad opportunities to disagree and not prefer the words or actions of most everyone you encounter. We are an annoying and self-focused lot. But what will be worth it and what will not? What will be reviewed and regretted, and what will lift up the honor of our Savior? Leaving is sometimes easy and sometimes not. Jesus is sometimes easy and sometimes not. When given the choice, choose Jesus and let that direct your way.
As we seek Him today, allow time and place for the Holy Spirit to direct you when considering your next steps. Don’t do in haste what could and should be avoided.