I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yokefellow, help these women who have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
If I hear one more “If she. . .” or “But she. . .” after someone has said she has forgiven her sister, I just might scream. Dwelling on the offense is an offense in itself. It debilitates the speaker, slanders the original offender, gives credence to Christianity being weak, and wastes time in the battle for souls for Christ. I want a change; so I, like Paul, plead with the sisters who are beefing to be of the same mind in the Lord, and I urge others with influence to help any women they see bickering, giving more attention to their beef than to the cause of Christ.
Help them drop their nets.
Yes, Jesus told His disciples to drop their nets—meaning to give up their jobs, to follow Him. But some of us need to drop our nets of bickering because this can be a full-time job for us. We give so much attention to the detail of our fleshly battle that we have become all-consumed, just like the attention we give to full-time work. Drop your net and agree with each other in the Lord to continue “in the cause of the gospel.”
Paul wanted Euodia and Syntyche to work out their differences by focusing on the Lord. What does the Lord say about us getting along? This should be our focus. When we focus on our feelings and the offenses and can’t get pass them, we are exalting these issues above God. They have become idols that God tells us to tear down. We must tear them down not just so the world sees our harmony but that we might have harmony to do God’s work together. I believe this is what Paul was having these Christians focus on: God and his work that needs to be done. He first said he wanted Euodia and Syntyche to agree but not just agree in any way (going along to get along) but agreeing in the Lord (renewing their minds to line up with Jesus’ thoughts and actions). This is the only way that we can reach out to a dying world and rescue people from the grips of the enemy.
Copyright 2009 by Rhonda J. Smith