I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
(Philippians 4:2-3 ESV)
In this letter to the Philippians Paul has called upon them to humble themselves for the sake of unity, the same way Jesus humbled Himself and did not look after His own interests [Philippians 2:5-8].
In today’s passage we are introduced to two women in Philippi who were apparently having some sort of disagreement. We aren’t told what the disagreement is. But it doesn’t matter to us what the disagreement was. In fact, it didn’t matter to Paul what the disagreement was. What mattered was that these women not be divided by their differences but united by what they did “agree” on – “the Lord”.
As we studied yesterday, God made us different on purpose. God loves diversity. He sees it as a good thing. The world, however, sees differences as the source of our problems and we try everything we can to eliminate those differences. We even enact legislation in an attempt to force people to think alike.
Disagreements also can, and will, happen in the church. This is not surprising and should not be upsetting. But these disagreements should not divide us as it seems was happening in Philippi. Unanimity in the church is not always possible, but unity is.
Paul urges these women to let what they agree with – Jesus – unite them. This also involves agreeing with the Lord. Jesus is truth [John 14:6; John 18:37]. When we agree with His truth we can be in agreement with each other despite our differences.
While Paul wrote these words to believers, they certainly apply to the non-believing world around us, including the United States.
Sadly the idea of finding unity through Jesus is the opposite of what our country believes. Our government has gone to great lengths in recent years to create a neutral-religion culture. Its okay to mention “God” but not a specific god. We think that eliminating Jesus from our society will bring us together. But the exact opposite will happen and is, in fact, happening.
The only place we can find agreement is “in the Lord”. Jesus is the source – the only possible source – of unity on this earth. People will not be able to come a mutual respect and understanding any other way.
Comments? Questions? I’d love to hear from you. Please feel free to contact me about this post.
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