by Esther Griggs

Families with children understands sibling rivalry. Paul, as a father of spiritual children, experienced it within the family of God.

He repeatedly reiterates his love for these people. He calls them beloved. He yearns for them. He calls them his joy and crown. He also tells them to get along.

Paul implores Euodia. He implores Syntyche. Each is of value to him. “Be of one mind in the Lord,” he tells them. Pray, seek from the Lord how to think on the issue at hand.

He takes it further by asking his ‘true companion’ to help them. These women were valuable to Paul. They worked alongside him in sharing the gospel. Along with others, their names were in the Book of Life. It wasn’t a matter of their Christianity, nor of their work. They just needed to get their thinking beyond themselves and into the mind of Christ. They needed outside help.

Conflict is a nasty business, especially in the church. It can ruin our reputation to the world and block the work of Christ. It allows access to the enemy of our souls. If we in humility allow the work of Jesus in our lives, His Spirit will guide us through the maze of conflict. Euodia had to deal with Jesus on the issue. She needed to ensure her heart was right and Syntyche had to do the same. Like a triangle, two opposites growing toward the apex, become one. Jesus is the apex.

“Rejoice!” Paul continues. “Let your gentleness (graciousness, forbearance) be known to all men.” Don’t get stuck. Keep your heart and mind on the prize. Look to Jesus! Jesus is Love.

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