Be of the Same Mind in the Lord
Posted on August 26, 2020 by Catey Stover in Victory Call
Philippians 4:2-3: I implore Euodia and I implore Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. And I urge you also, true companion, help these women who labored with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the Book of Life.
Did you ever wonder why Philippians 4:2-3 is in the Bible? I mean, I realize this was a personal letter from Paul to the Church in Philippi, but verse 2 especially just seems like … huh?
I visited my brother and sister-in-law’s church this past weekend and the pastor has been working through Philippians. The message was on chapter 4:1-5.
So obviously Euodia and Syntyche had a disagreement with one another that was serious enough that someone brought it to Paul’s attention (who, by the way, was in prison at the time he wrote this letter). And since Paul doesn’t tell us what their disagreement was, we can guess it was probably not a doctrinal issue or he would have corrected it.
One illustration the pastor used was Euodia liked Pepsi and Syntyche said, no way, Cherry Coke was better. In early church vernacular, maybe Euodia thought her matzo recipe was better than Syntyche’s. Or maybe the argument was over what to serve for the next widows and orphans dinner. Kind of like a current-day disagreement over whether we should have a pot-luck supper or catered meal. Or what color carpet should replace the current church carpet. (I’ve actually heard of churches that have split over that!)
Or maybe it’s a “bigger” issue – like why can’t we sing hymns instead of contemporary worship music? Or should we have church services only on Sunday or can we worship on another day of the week?
It’s sad that most church disagreements aren’t over important things, like whether the Bible is inerrant, or whether Jesus rose from the dead. Nope, they’re over things that really boil down to the likes or dislikes of the individuals in the church. God isn’t really concerned over what color carpet we have – or whether we have carpet at all! He isn’t concerned about the style of music we choose but the attitude of our heart when we worship.
As Paul exhorted the Church in Philippi, we need to be like-minded in the Lord. Concerned more for what brings Him glory, honor and praise, and less about our own likes, comfort and personal preferences.
Paul goes on to say: Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.
I don’t necessarily think this was a change of subject. In our like-mindedness, we should be rejoicing, and be gentle (not just toward unbelievers but especially toward one another – after all, “they’ll know we are Christians by our love.”) And why? Because the Lord is at hand.
For at least 2/3 of my life, I’ve heard people speculate that the return of the Lord was imminent, even going so far as to predict the year, month, day (and be wrong). So, while I still don’t know when, I know it’s closer than it was 20 years ago, 40 years ago. Certainly closer than when Paul wrote his letter. So whether it’s another 20 years, or another 2000 years, we are closer now than we have ever been. We need to be living in light of that truth and not get bogged down in petty arguments that dishonor the Lord and turn unbelievers away from Him. Amen?
Written by Ruth Schmidt: Ruth Schmidt has worked at America’s Keswick since 1985. She currently serves as Administrative Assistant to Bill Welte.
Think About This: “It is not my ability, but my response to God’s ability, that counts.” – Corrie Ten Boom
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. -1 Peter 3:9
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the doctrinal and theological views held by America’s Keswick.