Daily Thought for: 14th October
BE OF THE SAME MIND IN THE LORD
Philippians 4. 2-3
There are times in life when problems need to be faced and dealt with. We have read about one such situation in our verse today. Whatever the problem, Paul had noticed that two ladies, Euodias and Syntyche, had a difference of opinion and he wrote encouraging them to sort it out.
Just before dealing with this issue, Paul tells all the believers in Philippi that he loves them and cannot wait to see them again. He actually puts it in terms that say ‘You are the source of my joy, and your salvation and progress is really the pinnacle of everything I could ever achieve in life’. On the back of this he pleads with them to ‘stand fast in the Lord’. His big issue with them is that they will continue to be ‘steady’ saints and that their faith will be firmly ‘in the Lord’. There is no stability or foundation for our faith if it is not based on the Lord.
When Paul comes to deal with these two sisters he makes the same appeal to both of them. He beseeches Euodias and he beseeches Syntyche. It would seem that the appeal is written like this deliberately so that neither of the sisters could claim that Paul was inferring that one of them was a bigger problem than the other. It is sad but we can all get into this state of mind from time to time and wisdom is often required in handling these spiritual ‘people’ issues. The word Paul uses, ‘beseech’, is specially chosen as it indicates that he is not standing back and pointing the finger but he is appealing to them to draw alongside him so that the problem can be solved. He has been in the situation that they are in and he wants to be of help to them. Is that the way that we deal with problems? Or do we just stand back and pontificate, pointing out what the problem is and what needs to be done. You will notice that Paul did not get involved in what the issue was; he just wants to draw alongside them with the solution - which is being ‘of the same mind in the Lord’.
This approach is wise and prevents gossip. In conclusion, remember that these sisters could not sort this problem without agreeing to be honest and yet courteous, taking time to talk and approaching the matter carefully in God’s presence.