“I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.”
What a practical challenge Paul presented to these two women in the church at Philippi, that they be “of the same mind.” Apparently these women were having some kind of dispute or disagreement. For Paul, remaining in discord was not an option. They were to strive to come to agreement or unity. We are told nothing about the nature of their conflict, but the problem was serious enough to merit individual attention in the Philippian epistle.
This concern of Paul serves as an example and reminder to us as well. We need to take seriously the matter of working to resolve problems in relationships, especially in the church family. For some, this may seem like an impossible proposition. After all, we have our personality differences, as well as differences of opinions and preferences. However, the success of being unified with others in the body of Christ is not dependent on our ability to work out our differences purely on a human level. Rather it stems from our spiritual position, “be of the same mind in the Lord.”
Conflicts that appear to be irresolvable can be mended “in the Lord.” If we are in Christ and walking in the Spirit, we will have the Lord’s help in coming to agreement. He helps us see and understand things differently from how we would be able to otherwise. Although we all have our own thoughts, we as sincere Christians should seek to know the mind of the Lord. If we can discover His mind, we will be “of the same mind.”
Permanent breeches in relationships are often caused, not by disagreements alone, but by stubbornness and willfulness. In many cases, when two differing parties honestly turn to the Lord for wisdom, both find that, in some way, they have contributed to the problem. When we are abiding in the Lord, God gives us the grace to forgive those who have offended or wronged us. God promises us the ability to forgive each other “in the Lord,” whatever has been said or done.
With God’s help, we too can see damaged relationships healed for the glory of God. As Christian brothers and sisters, especially in the church body, our love for each other should be stronger than the areas where we might disagree. We are not just friends or acquaintances; we are brethren “in the Lord.”