Help Those Women in Your Church Get Along

I love how Scripture includes inspiring acts of heroism but at the same time doesn’t cover up the warts and messiness of real life. Take for instance the conflict between two women in the church at Philippi: Eudia and Syntyche. We really don’t know much about them other than the fact that they were not in agreement with one another. It must’ve been pretty ugly and public for the apostle Paul to send out word to one of the elders there to “help these women . . .” (Phil. 4:2–3) to come together in unity.

Paul was urging his “true companion” (probably an elder of the church at Philippi) to serve these sisters as a peacemaker. Why was Paul placing such a priority on this situation to call out their names publicly? And why did the Holy Spirit inspire him to place this in a letter that is included in the canon of Scripture? I think that’s worth checking out.

If you’ve been in a church for long, you’ve probably witnessed a “Eudia” or a “Syntyche” in action. You know what I mean: the cutting remarks, the glares across the room, the cold dispositions, and the argumentative spirits. Sometimes it’s not so obvious, but when there’s a division within a church, it puts the entire body out of whack:

"Just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ . . . but God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another." (1 Cor. 12:12, 24–25)

Picture a man with a deformed arm trying to row a boat. He wouldn’t get far with only one arm working effectively. Similarly, when one member is hurting it affects the entire body.

We’re to work in unity to accomplish His mission for us: filling the earth with His glory. But when division starts pulling the body apart, we’re trying to function in an impaired state, trying to fulfill a holy calling while a lot of junk is weighing us down.

Paul’s appeal for someone to serve as a peacemaker is an appeal to us, as well. Is there a conflict you are aware of where you might be able to serve as a peacemaker? How have you seen God work to break down dividing walls and bring unity to a church body?

About the Author

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner

Kimberly Wagner is the author of Fierce Women: The Power of a Soft Warrior and is a frequent guest on Revive Our Hearts radio program, as well as a regular contributor to the blog. Kimberly's passion is Christ and she … read more …

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