I knew these 2 family members for all the years that they disliked one another. But as a friend and a Pastor I managed to bring them together in unity and there was a public display of peace and reconciliation within a church service and it was indeed very powerful. But it didn’t last very long, maybe a couple of years if that. Then it all unravelled and that was 20 years ago and today they don’t speak to one another at all. Neither of them attend church now. Their hurt and anger ate away at them.
These stories are sadly all too prevalent in any community but even more so when we see it in the Church.
Why can’t people just get on?
Well the Apostle had similar problems with his Churches.
“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.” (Philippians 4: 1-3)
So we come to the second reason why Paul wrote to the Church in Philippi.
He has thanked them for their love, support and their partnership with his chains of suffering and now this: 2 women who must have been creating quite a stink for news has reached him and he is writing to get it sorted out.
They are arguing probably not about theology but personal things.
The argument is not just affecting them they are distracting the Church.
He is calling them to agree and to agree will mean they will need to humble themselves.
How can they react negatively to this request after Paul has just written about the humility of Jesus?
What we know is these women needed help but no one was stepping in. They just let it continue.
Who was the companion? An individual? Or was Paul meaning the community of people who just stood by and did nothing to help? By-standers of the feud?
These women’s past have gospel stories and were used by God. But there’s not much of that going on now. It is amazing what we will let go of for being in the right.
Who are you arguing with today? Stop it!