Chapter 4:2-7 (ESV) - I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. Yes, I ask you also, true companion, help these women, who have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Question to consider: Why do you think the Lord has us work with people with whom we struggle to agree?
While we wait to enter into the heavenly kingdom, we will have strife and difficulties in this world. An anchor for us in the midst of tribulation is the church, but as redeemed sinners, we will even struggle in our Christian relationships. Paul asked the church to help Euodia and Syntyche to agree in the Lord. For whatever reason, these ladies were contending with one another to the degree that Epaphroditus thought it was worth mentioning to Paul. Maybe Paul asked Epaphroditus about them since they were notorious for bickering with one another.
As much as we’d like to get along with everybody, there are certain personalities that just clash with each other. It was obvious, however, that they both loved the Lord so Paul entreated them to get along with each other by focusing on the fact that they both belonged to Christ. Sometimes Jesus pairs people up that act like sand paper toward each other in order to smooth out their rough edges and refine their faith.
Clement is thought to have gone on to be a leader in Rome, and there are a couple of epistles attributed to him which were considered for the canon of scripture. Whether or not his works are part of scripture, they were written by someone whom Paul considered a brother in Christ.
We close today’s passage with Paul’s exhortation to find our joy in the Lord. Regardless of our circumstances, we should strive to deal reasonably with our neighbor and cast our anxieties at the feet of Jesus. Paul encouraged them to bring all of our cares and concerns and requests to the Lord and receive His wonderful peace. Even as I write this, it is late at night, and I find myself anxious about many things. In spending time with Paul in this epistle and bringing my troubles before the Lord, I know that I can find rest and peace in His sovereign hand.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for hearing our prayers. Please grant us peace in the midst of the things that try to bring us down or stress us out. Help us to agree with one another in the Lord and give grace to each other when necessary. For He is our joy and salvation. Amen.