The contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. (Acts 15:39)
We are not speaking of a couple of fickle church members quarreling over the color of carpet in the sanctuary; we are speaking of the apostle Paul, Barnabas, Silas, John and Mark. If these were not exempt from contentions and divisions, what would make us think that we would be exempt from them?
There will always be differing personalities, opinions and preferences. Many of these will cause the parting of ways of good people with a genuine love of God and the desire to fulfill His will. Nevertheless, because methods and inclinations differ, there will inevitably be the formation of new works and diversities of ministries. These contentions are seldom if ever pleasant, but they are real and often valid. It may not even be a matter of right or wrong. It may just be a matter of method or ability. It appears that the only way to avoid these contentions is to avoid growth. Nevertheless, if you are going to grow, you are going to change. And if you are going to change, you are going to experience divisive contentions.