New International Version
2 I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 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.
Euodia and Syntyche were two women who loved the Lord but couldn’t get on with each other, perhaps for ministry reasons or a personality clash. All too common!
I have just this morning also read Acts 15:36-41, where Paul and Barnabas disagreed whether to bring Mark along on their next mission trip as he had got scared and bottled out half way last time. They couldn’t agree so these men, who had risked their lives together as brothers, decided to go their separate ways.
But here Paul pleads with two women who were passionate and dedicated to the Lord but couldn’t see eye to eye, not to make the same mistake. He didn’t want them to fall out and divide as he and Barnabas did (though I don’t believe there was unforgiveness between them).
It is all too easy to do this! Even in our little church we have enough differences in temperament, church tradition and taste to cause any number of divisions. To have a division you only need two people!
What is the solution? Paul appeals to his friend “my true companion ” (possibly a name, Syzygus, meaning yokefellow) to help them to see the bigger picture – our names are written in the book of life!!
Let me say that again – our names are written in the book of life!! We will spend every day for an eternity that will never end, with the Lord Jesus in a state of deep bliss and love. What then is the point of falling out over small matters now?
If we care for God’s Kingdom, as Euodia and Syntyche did, then we will sometimes clash. But let’s look at the bigger picture. We are saved for heaven! Don’t sweat the small stuff! Look up and laugh!