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. Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
As Paul draws to an end of his letter he takes a moment to personally address some fellow believers. Euodia and Syntyche were apparently Christians who had worked along side Paul in his ministry. Sadly he has heard that they have had a falling out. We don’t know what their disagreement was over, but apparently it was a big enough deal to reach Paul’s ears. Even Christians have conflict.
In verse 4 after begging them to be reconciled he commands them to rejoice. You see, we must be reconciled with others in order to be in the right frame of mind to be able to rejoice and worship. We can see that our relationships with each other affect our relationship with God. Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:24 to be reconciled with others before going before God in worship. This sounds like a simple truth, but in practicality it is extremely difficult. God calls us to work through our disagreements and be brave enough to talk about them and not brush them aside.
We see that Paul even calls on “my true companion” to help these women. Sometimes we may be at such an impasse with a brother or sister that we need help to agree. There is no shame in seeking counseling or calling on a trusted mediator to help work through things. It may be humbling, but necessary to call on outside help to resolve differences.
Finally we are reminded by verse 5 that our lives and actions affect our witness. “Let your reasonableness be known to everyone.” This disagreement they are having would not be a good testimony to other believers or non-Christians. Our relationships may be challenging, but they must also be different from the world’s way of living. Because we are empowered by Christ to love and forgive when we have been wronged. And called to love each other radically. John 13:35 says “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
Let’s ask ourselves how our relationships may be affecting our relationship with God, and our witness to others. Who do we need to “agree in the Lord” with? Let’s take the steps needed to be at peace with all men, in order to fully rejoice in the Lord and be a witness for Him. His Spirit is here to convict and empower, and radically transform all areas of our lives.