Phil 4:3 “Yes, I say also to you, true companion, help~~ them. They have struggled together in the gospel ministry along with me and Clement and my other coworkers, whose names are in the book of life.”
It may surprise us to find people in the ministry who become so contentious and disagreeable that they discourage other believers. Paul taught believers to build relationships by making the needs of others a priority (Phil 2:2–-3), allowing the “peace of God to rule in [everyone’s] hearts” and minds (Col 3:15). But harmony in Philippi was on the verge of erupting into conflict.
The two women in conflict here, Euodia and Syntyche, were urged “to be of the same mind in the Lord” (Phil 4:2), lest the peace in the congregation be destroyed and people begin to take sides against each other.
Euodia and Syntyche had been instrumental in planting the church at Philippi, perhaps from the very beginning, when Paul met with some women “by the riverside” (Acts 16:13). Paul and his evangelistic team stayed at the home of Lydia after her conversion (16:14).
To the Corinthians, Paul wrote, “Now I exhort you, brethren . . . that you all agree and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be made complete in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1 Cor 1:10). And Peter wrote, “All of you be harmonious, sympathetic, brotherly, kindhearted, and humble in spirit” (1 Pet 3:8).
Restoration and harmony are so important in the body of Christ someone had to intervene to help them resolve the conflict. We are not told what the issue was, or who the “true companion” (lit. “bound by a common yoke”) was, but we know Paul was asked to “help” in this conflict. The command means to “bring together, or catch hold of”
Whenever there is a conflict seek out a trusted third party to help resolve the issue for the sake of the church body before it gets out of hand and reactions hurt the everyone.
Conflicts among even the most mature, faithful, and serving people can happen when selfish, self–serving interests subtly enter into their thinking (Mark 10:37, 41). When a conflict is perceived, someone must intervene. Jesus wants us all to be “peacemakers” (Matt 5:9) to maintain harmony among believers.
“Dear Father, as I serve You, please help me work to benefit others, bringing harmony and peace to my fellow workers and furthering the ministry of the word.”
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