Reading Through The New Testament. September 7th, 2016. Philippians 4.
Let’s call today’s reflection: What to do if you’re Euodia or Syntyche.
It’s not ok to get sour towards others in the church.
Why did Paul write this letter to the church in Philipi?
Why all this talk of humility, putting others interests over our own, imitating Christ’s attitudes?
A lot of scholars believe he is writing this letter because of two ladies in the church named Euodia and Syntyche.
They weren't getting along — we know that much. We don’t know much else though. What were they fighting about? Who was right? Who did Paul agree with?
Apparently the specifics were irrelevant. What mattered is that they adopt an attitude of humility — like Christ’s — and serve each other.
But! The specifics matter! Ever get pulled aside for something you’ve done and your immediate response is to tell them the specifics (i.e. I didn’t mean it that way. AND Jason did it first and I was just following him, and on and on). The details matter. Being right matters.
Apparently not to Paul in this letter.
What mattered was that Euodia and Syntyche learn how to love each other and get along.
There’s some that think when Paul writes in this chapter “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure… think about these things” he’s speaking to Euodia and Syntyche.
He’s saying “Think about what is good about the other person. Think about what you love about them. Dwell on their goodness and nothing else”
Puts this scripture into a new light doesn’t it?
This whole letter because two people forgot the goodness in the other person. Apparently forgetting the goodness of people in your church is of the upmost importance.
So, how do you think of the people you don’t get along with? Do you dwell on their goodness or on something else?
May you place your mind on the goodness of the people in our church. Whatever is noble about them, pure, excellent or praiseworthy… and the God of Peace will be with you.