“I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord.”
This passage is the story of two people who let their sin capacity get the best of them. They entered a running battle that went on for months. It was still going on when Paul wrote Philippians. Both were blind to their contribution to the problem. They saw the problem lying exclusively in the other person.
“I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche”
Imagine the original setting for this verse. Euodia and Syntyche were sitting in church for the first reading of Philippians to the Philippian congregation. Epaphroditus read the first chapter, and they were all delighted. The second and third chapters were wonderful. Then he read chapter 4: “I implore Euodia, and I implore Syntyche.” The church was charged with an electric shock. The two women froze. They were singled out publicly. Euodia was sitting on the right side of the church flanked with her respective supporters. Syntyche sat on the left side with her supporters. Their names occur in the Bible because they were troublemakers.
They wanted their own way, and this is the price they paid. They were about to split the church, and they did not care so long as they were vindicated, church or no church. They were no longer interested in the evangelism of Philippi. They were more interested in who was right.
This was no doctrinal matter. It was personal. They laid down such a smokescreen that other folks were no longer interested in evangelizing Philippi. The church lost sight of its mission. They were interested in finding out which side people were on: “Do you think that Syntyche is right?” “What about Euodia’s position? Is she right?”
Both were hurt. There is no question about that. We cannot work in an office without getting hurt once in a while, but we keep plugging along. We expect to get hurt. That is our job. Where there are people, there are mistakes and misunderstandings. Sometimes others are thoughtless and unkind but are not we all? We are all in the same boat.
Personal hurt is no reason for hurting the cause of Christ.
Have you allowed a personal injury to carry over into your ministry? Have you allowed yourself to blunt the cause of Christ by involving yourself in a ministry conflict?