Women of Renown

The thought of going down in history can be appealing, unless of course it’s because you sinned. That is just what happened to Euodia and Syntyche (Philippians 4:2-3). Two prominent women, and the only thing they are remembered for is their argument. Euodia (meaning prosperous) and Syntyche (meaning pleasant acquaintance) are called out to reconcile. Both women were renowned already for good things, but their reputation was tarnished by pointless bickering. The whole church is addressed by the letter, and that whole church was responsible for keeping them accountable. By addressing them individually and directly, Paul shows that he cares more about the health of the whole flock than about the possibility of offending some key women in that flock. He literally them to reconcile. He doesn’t take a side, and likely didn’t know the details or the motives behind the actions. Perhaps Epaphrodites told him about the conflict when he was with Paul in Rome and asked him for advice on how to settle it. The key take away is that Christians cannot stay at odds with each other for any reason. If we truly care about each other we will be intolerant of anything that causes or continues disunity.

5 thoughts on “Women of Renown

  1. I don’t feel “at odds” with any members of our flock, but many I am ashamed to admit I do not know on any level other than together being fellow worshipers of our Lord. I truly desire to know all the members of our church and I will be making strides to fulfill that goal.

    However, I am glad that you mentioned attitudes at church this week. Open hostility seems preferable in many ways to ingrained feelings of distrust or envy between church members. The slow burning decay of unspoken resentment is a more serious offense than disagreements that occur in the light of day for all to see; at least church leadership can take action in these cases as in Philippians 4:2-3.

    Improper attitudes are sometimes born in innocence but have the opportunity to subvert seemingly undetected the harmony within a church and I feel that these attitudes flourish when members of a small church like ours don’t know each other well enough. I realize that you put a great emphasis on unity in our church and to unite we must be of the same mind, like the early church in the Book of Acts “44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.”

    The idiom “familiarity breeds contempt” does not belong in a group of believers whose names are in the book of life. Our goal should be to become more familiar with our church members and our Lord Jesus Christ.

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