“And Barnabas determined to take with them John, whose surname was Mark. But Paul thought not good to take him with them, who departed from them from Pamphylia, and went not with them to the work.” Acts 15:37, 38
Paul and Barnabas were about to embark on their next missionary journey. Barnabas was determined that John Mark would accompany them, but Paul strongly disagreed. This was a serious matter of concern because John Mark quit traveling with the group during the first missionary trip and returned to Jerusalem. Great harm is done when one of God’s servants quits. There is a difference between having a failure and making a mistake and quitting. We all fail from time to time, but we must trust God for the grace to continue in His will.
First of all, quitting is not good for us. When we cease to do what God has planned for us to do, it will not bring better things to our lives. God does not want us to continue to do His will for His sake alone. It is good for us to be in God’s will. It is a place of peace and fulfillment. It may be difficult, and perhaps even hazardous, for some. This may have been the case for John Mark. However, even with the hardships, it is better for us to be where God has commanded us to be.
Neither is quitting good for the work of God. The harvest is great, but the laborers are still greatly needed. When a soldier in God’s army quits, it hurts the work of God. When a laborer leaves the harvest, who will take his place? Others cannot possibly do their jobs and also the work of those who have abandoned their posts.
Additionally, it is not good for others when a servant of God chooses to quit. It hinders the testimony of Christ among the unsaved. How are they to interpret or understand it when a professing Christian decides it is not worth it to serve the Savior? This unfortunate betrayal among God’s saints gives the unbelievers more reason not to commit themselves to Christ. Quitting also has a negative effect among the ranks of the true followers of Jesus. It can cause discouragement and disappointment. Imagine the scene around the campfire when word got around that John Mark had defected. We have seen the same kind of reaction in churches when a leader quits. John Mark’s decision even caused conflict between Paul and Barnabas. Whatever happens, let’s not quit.