Know anyone by the name of Syzgus? … Probably not.
Here’s the story… Two key church leaders, Euodia and Syntyche, had a significant disagreement or difference of opinion. These ladies were probably charter members of the congregation in Phillipi. The point is clearly made that they had worked together with Paul, probably in the founding of the church. But something had come between them! A disagreement had gotten so big that they could not get along with each other – even in the Lord! It was apparently not a doctrinal issue that divided them, but a personal one. Today it might have been any one of the petty issues that Satan capitalizes on to divide and destroy congregations: A position in the church, a decorating decision, a construction issue, perceived favoritism with their children, an overlooked invitation – you name it, Satan can use it!
There was only one adequate solution. These two ladies needed to be reconciled to each other. Paul first appeals to their relationship to Christ (i.e. “agree…in the Lord!”). Then he asks a third, well-known, and mutually respected spiritual person in the church to serve as a peacemaker to help bring them together. Some scholars believe the word translated “loyal yokefellow or true companion” (Syzygus) in Philippians 4:2-3 is actually a proper name. Without his help, their continued disagreement and malice toward each other would have a destructive impact on the body of Christ.
My story… We had a misunderstanding. Another Christian brother felt like I had wronged him. I felt like he had abused other people and had tried to destroy a ministry. We separated. We didn’t talk to each other for a long, long time. Contrary to popular opinion, time didn’t solve the problem – it never does. One day my telephone rang. It was a respected, godly mutual friend. He appealed to me to make a phone call and seek healing in the relationship. I heeded his appeal, humbled myself, and made the call – I asked for forgiveness and it was given, and the destructive wound was healed! Thank God for a Syzygus!
Perhaps you know of a relationship that has been damaged and severed because of a wrong or a misunderstanding. Right now you may feel the sweet nudge of the Holy Spirit to be a peacemaker in the situation – a “Syzygus”… Why don’t you prayerfully seek the right words and the timing of the Holy Spirit and do as He directs you… You know, don’t you, that the Bible says, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5.9 NIV)?