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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Friday-Opposites

 


I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

 

Philippians 4:2,3

 

Some people say that opposites attract. Well, for Mary Ann and me it’s not true. It’s wildly true. She’s a country girl and I’m a city guy. She’s an artist and I’m a technology geek. She loves working in the garden and I don’t even like getting the bottoms of my shoes dirty.

 

Euodia and Syntyche were two important women. They helped Paul and the church to get started and grow. Their importance and leadership capabilities were part of the bedrock of the Philippian church growing. But they were also wildly different.

 

Euodia’s name means that she’s prosperous. She’s got all her stuff together. She’s worked and made something of herself. She had money in the bank and used it for God’s kingdom. She’s driven. She’s arrived.

 

On the other hand, Syntyche’s name means someone who’s happy and go lucky. She’s a people person. She likes to sit down and just listen to people. She meets and greets strangers, making them feel welcomed.

 

Could you find two people more different? But the truth is that you need both kinds of people in the local Christian community. You need people that get things done. But you also need people that take care of people too.

 

If you have too many people that are just doers and achievers, then it becomes all about what gets done. Measuring and showing what’s accomplished. Yes, lots gets done but people are unimportant unless it’s about what they can do. How they can work and accomplish more.

 

The other side of the coin has its own set of problems. If you have too much of a focus on helping people emotionally and practically, that’s not good either. No one wants to do or say anything that might offend or hurt other people.

 

The church needs both. Paul knows that. Why else would he devote so much time and attention on this idea building up to this point? Just think about what Paul’s said earlier in this letter.

 

  • Stand fast. In 1:27–30, he urges everyone at Philippi to stand fast in one spirit.

  • Lowliness. In 2:1–4, Paul reminds them to be likeminded, thinking about others as being better than themselves.

  • Humility. In 2:5–8, Paul brings the deep humility of Jesus as he emptied himself for us all.

  • Self-lessness. In 2:19–30, Paul highlights the unselfishness of both Timothy and Epaphroditus.

 

It’s safe to say that this is a big deal to Paul. It’s not some small problem that he does a drive-by to solve. It’s not a minor thing that people can either hear or ignore. This is important.

 

How do we know this? Because listen to Paul’s words. He’s pleading. He’s begging. He’s urging both of the women to leave their individual preferences and move toward each other. He’s telling them to give up their independence and work together for their Lord.

 

Paul certainly could have brought out the big guns of his Apostleship. He could have ordered them to let bygones be bygones. But look at his humility and lovingkindness of the great apostle as he writes from prison in Rome.

 

Notice that he doesn’t throw any guilt at them. He could have said, “Look at me! Take your eyes off yourselves and put yourself in my place.” But he doesn’t. Instead, in meekness and humility he begs them to be of the same mind in the Lord.

 

When it comes to unity, no two people are alike. They will always, always, always have deep differences. So, trying to get people to agree is very difficult at best. That is, unless there’s something outside of them that they both can agree on.

 

And that something, or should I say that someone, is Jesus. He really can unite opposites like no one else.

 

Noodling Questions

 

  • Describe the last time that you had to plead with someone.

  • Are you naturally a stand firm kind of person? Why or why not?

  • How can you encourage unity within the people you live life with?

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