I was reminded during this morning’s service that we have the treasure of our faith—peace with God though His amazing grace—in earthen jars, our weak human vessels. Of course, earthenware, whether rough pottery or refined china, is brittle, easily cracked and broken.
We recognize that we are all cracked to some degree, but all cracked in as many different ways as our Creator has made us different. Even Paul and Barnabas were cracked individuals who had sufficient difference of attitude to part ways, Acts 15:37–39.
Paul was concerned for the work of the Gospel, and Mark had deserted them previously. Paul was task oriented. Barnabas, the encourager, was person oriented, concerned for Mark’s growth in faith. The result was two missionary journeys instead of one.
Easy to see the cracks in others, we are sometimes blinded to our own. Differences in temperament, upbringing, our own cultural baggage, even secondary Christian beliefs, can result in strained relations or even division.
It’s hard to think that maybe we are not completely right, and others’ beliefs may be overstated rather than untrue. But beyond that, let’s remember that they are still part of the family, and deserve our love and respect, even if we disagree.
It appears Paul and Mark made up at some point, Colossians 4:10 and 2 timothy 4:11. The old saying goes, “It is as much a sin to take offence as to give it.” And let’s remember, most of the “offences” are imagined or unintended.