Closed-mindedness

Disagreement can be between brothers, friends ,neighbors and somebody you didn’t know. But does this mean you have to be closed-minded for the rest of your life? 

Here’s an account of brothers disagreeing between each other

Acts 15:36 And some days after Paul said unto Barnabas, Let us go again and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they do. 15:37 And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. 15:38 But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work. 15:39 And the contention was so sharp between them, that they departed asunder one from the other: and so Barnabas took Mark, and sailed unto Cyprus; 15:40 And Paul chose Silas, and departed, being recommended by the brethren unto the grace of God. 15:41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, confirming the churches.

 1. At first they have a good intention that turns to a bad contention. Each party has his own intention, 

We can see that in Paul and Barnabas case it is God’s purpose for them to visit in order to minister. In such case  we must not be surprised when we are hindered. At times it is not the enemy that does it but us, our pride, our sin in us (Rm.7:15-23)

They have to see how others are doing , but in what happened unto them the problem was within. Barnabas who did not see his own (seeing other’s specks Mt.7:3)

God has intention for allowing such circumstances  for us to see our own problems and our need for Him and His doing needing closer consideration and solutions. We do not have to go far to see problems because in our own we do have many.

Each of us may have a good intentions, and it is good if that is to do His will.

2. Inhibition: Every good intention at times has delaying factors. Paul did not focus on physical inclination, affinity, affection, closeness. But Barnabas determined for himself, he did not consulted other’s counsel and so comes the delay. They have disagreement (Amos 3:3) 

Ministry has bumps and downs. There are instances that our preferences, understanding, maturity, information and other things seemed to contrast what others have. Paul at this point has his own reason why he do not want to take with them John Mark (37-38). But Barnabas also has his own reason other than he is blood related (Col.4:10)

When the determinants involved our closeness (family ties) that is where we are prone to be in error

3. Instruction; There are simple ministerial error yet should not be tolerated but needs proving first. John Mark did not go with them in one instance (John did not consider his superiors)

The work was important and sincerity and reality is needed, but Barnabas did not listened to the instruction. John Mark should learn a lesson, but Barnabas doesn’t want him to learn it.

4. Inconvenience Every disagreement can cause collision,incision,  cutting away, and pain.The contention was sharp (it is at a climax) leading to their parting ways (Imperfect situation, means areas needing improvement.

We cannot say that God is behind it but Satan

God desires unity and the enemy longs to kill, steal & destroy

Who among them has entertained Satan?

Ecc.7:20

Departing from a friend, fellow minister is painful, yet it is even painful if we depart from the Lord and His will.

We may have right reason at first , views, understanding, yet how we are affected tells us what it is made of, or in the end we can be wrong. Others can be wrong but in the end, if they chose to align themselves in God’s word they can be right .

5. Immovable-When you have a good intention and a delay happened, you should continue if there are no valid reason to stop . Going on in your life, in ministry, or whatever good purpose you have is not Satan’s plan. 

What we can see is that although Paul was closed-minded that time he is not close-minded for the rest of his life. He has a valid reason for not allowing John Mark to go with them.Barnabas has his own reason and he can also be close-minded concerning the reason that Paul had.We may not know how long Paul and Barnabas had it but we are told in 2 Tim.4:11 concerning some changes, that John already became profitable to him in ministry.

2Ti 4:11 Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. Can John be encouraged if Paul is so dogmatic? Can he be encouraged if Barnabas is closed-minded? What can we learn from these things?

Some people are so much focused on the contentions, especially if you are blood related,or church and position related, or within a family ties, rather than for Christ’s sake. As if when your family member is involved you are also a suspect the rest of your life. Even in our society, it affects every family. But Paul in this account surpassed this partiality because he knew man not after the flesh (2 Co.5:16). He learned the frailty of man by his own experience (Rom.7:18).His contention with Barnabas was already resolved as time ages and when he reconsidered John and gave him a chance. We are told to have the mind of Christ ( Php. 2:5) and to be in one mind.

In every relationship, when a space came in between, we should learn to give a chance. If you expect to receive this from others, you should learn to give it too, because someday you will need one.

Php. 2:3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

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One thought on “Closed-mindedness

  1. Pingback: The value of un-success | Dr Ken Baker

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