Being of One Mind
As we study your Word, Dear Lord, Help us to have eyes that see and ears that hear, that we might grow in You.
Read: Philippians 4:2-3, NIV
“I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.”
These two short verses in Philippians are almost an application to a main theme of this letter. These two ladies have been important coworkers with Paul in his ministry in Philippi. It would seem that they have had a falling out with one another or with the other believers. Paul is asking an unidentified person who is present there to help the ladies have a restoration.
Paul’s addressing of this situation can be thought of as an application of an earlier teaching in this letter:
“Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:1–8, NIV)
At the end of the second verse in Philippians 4:3, Paul makes it clear that the names of these dear people (including the two ladies) are written in the book of life. All of them are eternal spirits that are heaven bound.
As we go about the Lord’s ministries, working alongside other believers, the limitations and frailty of our fallen, human condition make it all but certain that we are going to have differences. We are all working with spiritual vision that is cloudy at best. We all need to cut each other a little slack and know an important truth; it is possible to be right and still be wrong. Our opinion or vision for how things ought be might be more correct than our coworker, but we are wrong to make this or that detail more important than our overall objective of living a life of love. We must have generosity in yielding to others as well as grace, gentleness and humility when correcting our coworkers in the ministry. We need to be wise in discerning what really matters. Of course these same qualities should also be found in our lives outside of the church and our ministry. These qualities are very attractive even to non-believers and can have a real impact.
Dear Lord, I ask You to help me to be able to sort out the important from the noise of life. Help me keep my eyes on the goal - which is the advancement of your kingdom on earth through living a life of love and grace.