Therefore, my brothers and sisters, you whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, dear friends! I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Appeal for Steadfastness and Unity
We can all relate to conflict and quarrels in the workplace but what happens when the workplace is church? Paul begins this passage with two particular women within the church, who apparently had some kind of disagreement: Euodia and Syntyche were both diligent leaders in the church and were recognized by Paul himself as well as other believers. Paul rarely named names when referring to disagreements in the churches but their dispute threatened to affect the harmony and well-being of the entire congregation. Paul’s solution was twofold. First, he called the women to “be of the same mind.” They were to avoid foolish disputes and those things which were unprofitable. They were rather to build up the body by letting each esteem others better than herself and to look out not only for her own interest but for the interest of others. The second action Paul took was to make an urgent plea to other leaders in the church to help Euodia and Syntyche reconcile and return to the “same mind” in the Lord. The body is to work together to help one another function lovingly and harmoniously in Christ.
Right relationships are essential for the health of the church. Much prayer, humility and counsel from the Word of God is needed to help reconcile differences.
In times of conflict do you have a posture of prayer and humility and seek Godly counsel?