When was the last time you walked into a room where an argument was taking place? The undercurrent of tension can be thick, heated words may be exchanged, and painful things said. It is not easy to know what to do. Sadly, this is sometimes part of life. Co-workers disagree, families disagree, and even people in churches disagree.
- How do you help others in the middle of a disagreement?
READ THE WORD: PHILIPPIANS 4:2-9 (ESV)
2 I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord. 3 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.
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. 9 What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
(Today’s questions focus on verses 2-3. Verses 4-9 will be covered in our next study.)
- When Paul used the term “entreat,” it meant “asking earnestly, anxiously, beseeching, or imploring.” Read verse 2 again. What do you think was happening in the relationship?
- What does it mean to “agree in the Lord”?
- These women worked with Paul, and they must have been amazing. Conflict happens even among those we honor the most. How can you disagree with someone, yet agree in the Lord at the same time? Why is this so important?
- Is there anyone in your life with whom you need to seek reconciliation? How can you “agree in the Lord” together? Be specific.
RESPOND TO GOD
Euodia and Syntyche needed some help, and it was not just up to those two to figure it out; they were given a community to help them. Paul mentioned that these fellow workers’ names were in the Book of Life. He did this so that they would remember that they all loved Jesus and were fellow workers together. Relationships are hard, which is why they mean so much to our inward and outward representation of Jesus.
- Take a moment and reflect on any relationships where you might need to remember that you are fellow workers together.
- Thank God for the people in your life—even the ones with whom you may disagree.
- Thank our Lord for his reconciliation and peace.