This is a “Coffee with the Lord” repost… I felt the “nudge” of the Holy Spirit this morning that someone needed to see this and would be helped by it… My Bible reading (Philippians 4:2-3) today – July 9, 2022, prompted this repost…
Two key church leaders, Euodia and Syntyche, had a significant disagreement or serious conflict. These ladies were probably charter members of the congregation in Phillipi. They had worked together with Paul, probably in the founding of the church. But something had come between them! An issue had gotten so big that they could not agree with each other – even “in the Lord!” It was apparently not a doctrinal issue that divided them, but a personal one. It might have been any one of the petty issues that Satan capitalizes on to divide congregations: A position in the church, a decorating choice, a construction issue, perceived favoritism with 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 mutual 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” (Syzygus) is actually a proper name. Without 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 that 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 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 that call. Forgiveness was sought and 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 misunderstanding. Right now you feel the sweet nudge of the Holy Spirit to be a peacemaker – a “Syzygus”… Why don’t you prayerfully seek the right words and the timing of the Holy Spirit and do as He directs… 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)?