Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Important Arguments

I met up with an old friend. We talked about what drew us apart. We talked some more about how although there's been distance, we still do care very much about each other. We ended our meeting in prayer.

Philippians 4:2-3a, "I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to agree with each other in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you, loyal yoke fellow, help these women who have contended by my side in the cause of the gospel..."

When I get to heaven, one of the first things I want to do is..... (okay I'm a little embarrassed to admit this) find out what happened with Euodia and Syntyche. I just want to know. I want the scoop! The Bible is not clear about what took place, but it is obvious that the two ladies (sisters in Christ) were in disagreement about something. They were in discordance, maybe even animosity. They could have had some kind of "fall out" about a personal affair, or maybe they were disputing something more to do with church affairs. Nevertheless, they were not in unison, and Paul felt the need to address it. Not only does Paul publicly address them, but he also calls on the "congregation" to come alongside these two ladies and help them resolve the issues at hand.
WOW! I don't know about you, but I'm really taken back by all of it.

If I imagine myself being Euodia, for example, I think I may feel embarrassed if not humbled by Paul's words...that he would write my name and address me in his letter to the church. And yet it could be that Euodia and Syntyche were wanting someone to point it out, and/or come to their aid. Who knows.

Regardless of what the details really were, I can definitely see why God would want this to be a part of Scripture. Although there are many details left untold, this type of occurrence is not foreign to us today.

In fact, disagreements and arguments are prevalent in the church today. (church-meaning the body of Christ)
Friends let each other down.
Brothers have misunderstandings and fall outs.
Sisters express their feelings and offend each other.
Children get frustrated and disrespect parents.
Parents get weary and give up on their children.
Couples hurt each other and even betray.
It is all more common than we care to admit.

I guess it's our humanity...that draws us to disagreements and arguments.
We are prone to letting people down. Prone to wanting others to see "our" way. Prone to making "our" point. And in doing so we can also suffer losses. We lose friendships. We lose fellowship, we lose communion, and sometimes we even lose ourselves.

I got to see the latest "Karate Kid" the other day. Cool movie!
There is a scene in the movie that stayed with me most.
Mr. Hann was crying and remembering his wife and child who had died in a car accident. He said they were arguing about something before he lost control of the car. He couldn't remember what exactly it was they were arguing about, but in his grief he said something like, "I hope the argument was really important."

Ultimately, it was a lesson about how fragile life can be, and how we should cherish those around us because no argument is worth losing the people you love.
This might sound a bit extreme, but reflecting on Eudioa and Syntyche, the lesson is not so different.

You see in the body of Christ, no argument or disagreement should be considered that important.

Maybe I'll meet with my old friend again. Maybe.
And maybe someday, I'll get the whole scoop!

"Do everything possible on your part to live in peace with everybody." Romans 12:18
"Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interest of others." Philippians 2:4
"Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another." Colossians 3: 13

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful world it would be if all of us would live in peace with everybody! I pray that I may remember this and put it to practice with all the wonderful people God has surrounded me with. This is practice here on Earth for what is to come.